Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) was upgraded by investment analysts at Scotiabank from a “sector perform” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $165.00 target price on the railroad operator’s stock. Scotiabank’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 6.91% from the company’s current price.
Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. UBS Group raised their price target on Norfolk Southern from $133.00 to $154.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $143.00 price target (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Argus raised their price target on Norfolk Southern from $145.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st. Zacks Investment Research raised Norfolk Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, ValuEngine raised Norfolk Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $132.90.
Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) traded up $0.33 during trading on Friday, reaching $154.34. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,850,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,520,000. The company has a quick ratio of 0.73, a current ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73. The stock has a market capitalization of $44,160.00, a P/E ratio of 24.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.77 and a beta of 1.37. Norfolk Southern has a one year low of $105.89 and a one year high of $156.08.
Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The railroad operator reported $1.75 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.64 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $2.67 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.65 billion. Norfolk Southern had a return on equity of 14.72% and a net margin of 17.86%. Norfolk Southern’s revenue was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.55 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Norfolk Southern will post 6.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Norfolk Southern announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, September 26th that allows the company to repurchase 50,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the railroad operator to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 2,370 shares of Norfolk Southern stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $134.71, for a total value of $319,262.70. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 6,370 shares in the company, valued at $858,102.70. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 6,175 shares of Norfolk Southern stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $129.61, for a total value of $800,341.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 7,568 shares in the company, valued at approximately $980,888.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 12,113 shares of company stock valued at $1,594,148. Company insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BB&T Investment Services Inc. acquired a new position in Norfolk Southern in the second quarter valued at $287,000. Patten Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 533.7% in the third quarter. Patten Group Inc. now owns 55,343 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,135,000 after acquiring an additional 46,610 shares during the last quarter. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Norfolk Southern in the third quarter valued at $296,000. Buckingham Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in Norfolk Southern in the third quarter valued at $277,000. Finally, Curbstone Financial Management Corp boosted its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 106.1% in the third quarter. Curbstone Financial Management Corp now owns 8,298 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,097,000 after acquiring an additional 4,271 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.45% of the company’s stock.
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About Norfolk Southern
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.