Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) – Equities research analysts at Seaport Global Securities cut their Q4 2017 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for Norfolk Souther Corporation in a report released on Friday. Seaport Global Securities analyst M. Levin now forecasts that the railroad operator will post earnings of $1.54 per share for the quarter, down from their prior forecast of $1.55.
Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The railroad operator reported $1.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.65 by $0.06. Norfolk Souther Corporation had a return on equity of 14.45% and a net margin of 17.66%. The firm had revenue of $2.64 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.64 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.36 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.5% on a year-over-year basis.
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Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Wolfe Research raised Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “market perform” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $126.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, August 7th. Cowen and Company reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $130.00 target price on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $133.00 target price on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research note on Monday, August 14th. ValuEngine raised Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG cut Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $132.00 to $104.00 in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Norfolk Souther Corporation currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $112.56.
Shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE NSC) opened at 130.79 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $37.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.25 and a beta of 1.38. Norfolk Souther Corporation has a 1-year low of $89.95 and a 1-year high of $133.81. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $126.04 and its 200-day moving average price is $119.74.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 11th. Investors of record on Monday, August 7th were issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 3rd. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.87%. Norfolk Souther Corporation’s payout ratio is presently 39.61%.
Norfolk Souther Corporation announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, September 26th that allows the company to repurchase 50,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the railroad operator to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Norfolk Souther Corporation news, Chairman James A. Squires sold 24,407 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.95, for a total value of $2,927,619.65. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 76,481 shares in the company, valued at $9,173,895.95. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.80, for a total value of $35,640.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 4,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $475,200. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 27,077 shares of company stock worth $3,244,531 in the last quarter. 0.36% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 3.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,251,999 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $2,464,667,000 after buying an additional 700,567 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 3.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,097,333 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $2,445,845,000 after buying an additional 631,018 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 2.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 12,960,797 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,451,226,000 after buying an additional 281,088 shares during the period. FMR LLC raised its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 13.0% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,618,986 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $805,530,000 after buying an additional 762,416 shares during the period. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 17.1% in the second quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 6,343,533 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $772,007,000 after buying an additional 925,496 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.60% of the company’s stock.
Norfolk Souther Corporation Company Profile
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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