Norfolk Souther Corporation’s (NSC) Hold Rating Reiterated at Robert W. Baird

Robert W. Baird reaffirmed their hold rating on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) in a research note published on Friday. They currently have a $136.00 target price on the railroad operator’s stock.

Several other research firms also recently weighed in on NSC. Argus boosted their target price on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from $145.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st. Morgan Stanley reissued an underweight rating and set a $75.00 target price (down previously from $77.00) on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Wells Fargo & Company downgraded shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Finally, Citigroup Inc. upped their price objective on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from $124.00 to $135.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $127.70.

Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE NSC) opened at $127.15 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.73 and a current ratio of 0.83. The company has a market cap of $36,383.82, a P/E ratio of 19.99, a P/E/G ratio of 1.64 and a beta of 1.37. Norfolk Souther Corporation has a 52 week low of $98.92 and a 52 week high of $134.52.

Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) last released its 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 for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.65 billion. Norfolk Souther Corporation had a net margin of 17.86% and a return on equity of 14.72%. Norfolk Souther Corporation’s revenue was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.55 EPS. analysts forecast that Norfolk Souther Corporation will post 6.46 earnings per share for the current year.

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Norfolk Souther Corporation announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, September 26th that permits the company to buyback 50,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization permits the railroad operator to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 11th. Investors of record on Friday, November 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.92%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 2nd. Norfolk Souther Corporation’s payout ratio is currently 38.36%.

In other Norfolk Souther Corporation news, Chairman James A. Squires sold 24,407 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $119.95, for a total transaction of $2,927,619.65. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 76,481 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,173,895.95. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 2,370 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.68, for a total transaction of $281,271.60. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 13,492 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,601,230.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 30,645 shares of company stock valued at $3,719,075. 0.36% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in NSC. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. boosted its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 56.6% during the first quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 9,052 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,014,000 after buying an additional 3,271 shares during the period. WMS Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 0.8% in the first quarter. WMS Partners LLC now owns 77,696 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $8,700,000 after purchasing an additional 600 shares during the period. Citizens & Northern Corp boosted its stake in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 2.9% in the first quarter. Citizens & Northern Corp now owns 9,102 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,019,000 after purchasing an additional 253 shares during the period. United Services Automobile Association boosted its stake in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 0.9% in the first quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 150,982 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $16,905,000 after purchasing an additional 1,353 shares during the period. Finally, OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 835.8% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 102,933 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $11,526,000 after purchasing an additional 91,933 shares during the period. 70.88% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC)

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