Norfolk Southern (NSC) Shares Gap Up on Analyst Upgrade

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC)’s share price gapped up prior to trading on Monday after Loop Capital raised their price target on the stock to $210.00. The stock had previously closed at $167.94, but opened at $171.46. Loop Capital currently has a buy rating on the stock. Norfolk Southern shares last traded at $176.95, with a volume of 4626353 shares changing hands.

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on NSC. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $188.00 to $187.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, October 25th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Norfolk Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 11th. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Thursday, January 3rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Norfolk Southern from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $198.00 to $203.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 18th. Finally, Bank of America downgraded Norfolk Southern from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $182.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, October 18th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $176.63.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. State of Tennessee Treasury Department raised its position in Norfolk Southern by 34.4% in the fourth quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 410,105 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $61,327,000 after purchasing an additional 104,926 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. raised its position in Norfolk Southern by 9.9% in the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 27,949 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $4,181,000 after purchasing an additional 2,518 shares during the period. Rafferty Asset Management LLC raised its position in Norfolk Southern by 67.9% in the fourth quarter. Rafferty Asset Management LLC now owns 3,428 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $513,000 after purchasing an additional 1,386 shares during the period. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC raised its position in Norfolk Southern by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC now owns 106,887 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $15,984,000 after purchasing an additional 1,591 shares during the period. Finally, AlphaCrest Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Norfolk Southern in the fourth quarter valued at $271,000. Institutional investors own 81.25% of the company’s stock.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 0.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. The stock has a market cap of $46.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.61, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 1.38.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.57 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.30 by $0.27. Norfolk Southern had a return on equity of 16.71% and a net margin of 23.27%. The company had revenue of $2.90 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.85 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.69 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post 10.25 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 11th. Shareholders of record on Monday, February 4th will be given a $0.86 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 1st. This represents a $3.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.94%. This is an increase from Norfolk Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. Norfolk Southern’s payout ratio is currently 36.17%.

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Norfolk Southern Company Profile (NYSE:NSC)

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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