The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. started coverage on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) in a research note published on Monday, MarketBeat.com reports. The firm issued a neutral rating and a $126.00 price target on the railroad operator’s stock.
A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on NSC. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. BMO Capital Markets increased their target price on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from $127.00 to $135.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. TD Securities increased their target price on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from $130.00 to $135.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. ValuEngine cut shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Finally, Aegis reiterated a hold rating and issued a $125.00 target price (up from $120.00) on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $127.62.
Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) opened at $129.22 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 0.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73. The firm has a market cap of $36,174.93, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.37. Norfolk Souther Corporation has a 12-month low of $102.59 and a 12-month high of $134.52.
Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The railroad operator reported $1.75 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.64 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $2.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.65 billion. Norfolk Souther Corporation had a net margin of 17.86% and a return on equity of 14.72%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.55 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Norfolk Souther Corporation will post 6.48 EPS for the current fiscal year.
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Norfolk Souther Corporation announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Tuesday, September 26th that authorizes the company to buyback 50,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the railroad operator to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 11th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 3rd will be issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 2nd. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.89%. Norfolk Souther Corporation’s payout ratio is currently 38.36%.
In other news, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 3,568 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.00, for a total transaction of $474,544.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 15,837 shares in the company, valued at $2,106,321. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.80, for a total transaction of $35,640.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 4,000 shares in the company, valued at $475,200. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 6,238 shares of company stock worth $791,456. 0.36% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 3,039.1% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,551,432 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $2,189,172,000 after purchasing an additional 18,928,598 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia boosted its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 2,921.5% during the 3rd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 1,277,777 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $168,353,000 after purchasing an additional 1,235,488 shares in the last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 17.1% during the 2nd quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 6,343,533 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $772,007,000 after purchasing an additional 925,496 shares in the last quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD purchased a new stake in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation during the 1st quarter worth $92,710,000. Finally, FMR LLC boosted its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 13.0% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,618,986 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $805,530,000 after purchasing an additional 762,416 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.88% of the company’s stock.
About Norfolk Souther Corporation
Norfolk Southern Corporation is a holding company engaged in the rail transportation business. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated approximately 19,500 miles of road primarily in the East and Midwest. The Company is engaged in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products and finished goods primarily in the Southeast, East and Midwest.
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