Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) Given Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” by Brokerages

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Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) has earned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the twenty-four analysts that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, nine have given a hold recommendation, eleven have assigned a buy recommendation and one has assigned a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year target price among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $196.52.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on NSC. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on Norfolk Southern from $185.00 to $195.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 3rd. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $122.00 to $132.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, August 3rd. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $199.00 to $216.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 30th. Citigroup boosted their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $200.00 to $214.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 30th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Norfolk Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $189.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday, May 29th.

Shares of NYSE:NSC traded down $2.96 on Wednesday, reaching $213.43. The company had a trading volume of 1,441,654 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,657,933. Norfolk Southern has a twelve month low of $112.62 and a twelve month high of $224.99. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $209.96 and a 200 day moving average price of $178.39. The stock has a market capitalization of $59.60 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.48, a P/E/G ratio of 3.52 and a beta of 1.39. The company has a quick ratio of 1.08, a current ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 29th. The railroad operator reported $1.53 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.33 by $0.20. Norfolk Southern had a return on equity of 16.06% and a net margin of 20.47%. The company had revenue of $2.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.06 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.70 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 28.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Norfolk Southern will post 8.81 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 7th were paid a $0.94 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 6th. This represents a $3.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.76%. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 36.36%.

In other news, CEO James A. Squires sold 2,715 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $186.68, for a total value of $506,836.20. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 66,357 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,387,524.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 1,788 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $210.51, for a total value of $376,391.88. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 11,058 shares in the company, valued at $2,327,819.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NSC. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado grew its position in Norfolk Southern by 32.1% during the 1st quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 469,192 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $68,502,000 after acquiring an additional 114,049 shares during the last quarter. AE Wealth Management LLC grew its position in Norfolk Southern by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. AE Wealth Management LLC now owns 9,735 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,421,000 after acquiring an additional 248 shares during the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Norfolk Southern by 3.5% in the 1st quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 13,935 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $2,035,000 after buying an additional 474 shares during the last quarter. Mackay Shields LLC boosted its position in Norfolk Southern by 1.8% in the 1st quarter. Mackay Shields LLC now owns 49,920 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $7,288,000 after buying an additional 901 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cetera Investment Advisers boosted its position in Norfolk Southern by 23.3% in the 1st quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 2,362 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $345,000 after buying an additional 447 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 66.94% of the company’s stock.

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.

See Also: Net Margin

Analyst Recommendations for Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC)

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