Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) Short Interest Up 9.0% in December

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest during the month of December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 4,220,000 shares, an increase of 9.0% from the December 15th total of 3,870,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,560,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.7 days. Currently, 1.6% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Shares of Norfolk Southern stock opened at $201.70 on Wednesday. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $193.77 and its 200 day simple moving average is $187.08. Norfolk Southern has a 52-week low of $160.19 and a 52-week high of $211.46. The firm has a market cap of $51.51 billion, a PE ratio of 21.21, a P/E/G ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 1.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.63 and a current ratio of 0.73.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd. The railroad operator reported $2.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.57 by ($0.08). Norfolk Southern had a net margin of 23.98% and a return on equity of 18.22%. The firm had revenue of $2.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.86 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $2.52 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Norfolk Southern will post 10.17 EPS for the current year.

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on the company. TD Securities cut Norfolk Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $205.00 to $200.00 in a report on Thursday, December 19th. Wells Fargo & Co assumed coverage on Norfolk Southern in a report on Monday, October 28th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $216.00 target price on the stock. UBS Group dropped their price target on Norfolk Southern from $230.00 to $216.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, September 17th. Zacks Investment Research raised Norfolk Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $162.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, December 3rd. Finally, Cowen reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $215.00 price target on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Wednesday, October 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $202.59.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of NSC. Schroder Investment Management Group increased its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 1.8% during the 2nd quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 472,129 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $94,109,000 after purchasing an additional 8,270 shares during the last quarter. National Pension Service boosted its stake in shares of Norfolk Southern by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. National Pension Service now owns 333,913 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $66,559,000 after acquiring an additional 11,577 shares during the period. A.R.T. Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $829,000. Private Advisor Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Norfolk Southern by 119.3% during the 2nd quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 40,540 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $8,078,000 after acquiring an additional 22,058 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Norfolk Southern by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 19,837,509 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $3,954,210,000 after acquiring an additional 88,933 shares during the period. 71.54% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Norfolk Southern

Norfolk Southern Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods. The company transports industrial products, including chemicals, agriculture, and metals and construction materials; and coal, automobiles, and automotive parts.

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