Norfolk Southern (NSC) Lowered to “Hold” at ValuEngine

ValuEngine cut shares of Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.

NSC has been the topic of a number of other research reports. TD Securities raised shares of Norfolk Southern from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, October 25th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Bank of America raised their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern from $183.00 to $187.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, October 1st. Morgan Stanley set a $113.00 price target on shares of Norfolk Southern and gave the company a sell rating in a report on Monday, October 22nd. Barclays reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $190.00 price target on shares of Norfolk Southern in a report on Wednesday, September 26th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus set a $180.00 price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $174.40.

Shares of NYSE NSC opened at $170.32 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. The stock has a market cap of $47.13 billion, a PE ratio of 25.77, a P/E/G ratio of 1.56 and a beta of 1.32. Norfolk Southern has a 52-week low of $125.59 and a 52-week high of $186.91.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.44 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $2.95 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.90 billion. Norfolk Southern had a net margin of 52.82% and a return on equity of 15.12%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 10.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.75 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Norfolk Southern will post 9.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 10th. Investors of record on Friday, November 2nd will be issued a $0.80 dividend. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.88%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 1st. Norfolk Southern’s payout ratio is 48.41%.

In other Norfolk Southern news, VP Cynthia C. Earhart sold 2,370 shares of Norfolk Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $175.09, for a total transaction of $414,963.30. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 2,370 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $414,963.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 801 shares of Norfolk Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $172.55, for a total transaction of $138,212.55. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 9,406 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,623,005.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 37,248 shares of company stock worth $6,405,219. 0.36% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of NSC. IFM Investors Pty Ltd lifted its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 41.8% during the second quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 12,747 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,923,000 after purchasing an additional 3,759 shares in the last quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co lifted its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 15.5% during the second quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 19,690 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $2,971,000 after purchasing an additional 2,645 shares in the last quarter. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt lifted its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 16.1% during the second quarter. Livforsakringsbolaget Skandia Omsesidigt now owns 5,046 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $761,000 after purchasing an additional 700 shares in the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue lifted its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 14.0% during the second quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 44,518 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $6,715,000 after purchasing an additional 5,470 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB lifted its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 3.7% during the second quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 56,514 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $8,526,000 after purchasing an additional 2,035 shares in the last quarter. 74.38% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Norfolk Southern

Norfolk Southern Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods. It also transports overseas freight through various Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports, as well as coal, automotive, and industrial products; and provides commuter passenger services.

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