ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) by 90.8% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 11,299 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after purchasing an additional 5,378 shares during the period. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc.’s holdings in Norfolk Southern were worth $2,252,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other large investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 0.6% during the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,210,893 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $480,144,000 after acquiring an additional 17,877 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 7.1% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,364,851 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $502,245,000 after acquiring an additional 221,780 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 17.7% during the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 30,653 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $4,583,000 after acquiring an additional 4,613 shares during the last quarter. Actinver Wealth Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern during the fourth quarter worth about $268,000. Finally, Ullmann Financial Group Inc. bought a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern during the first quarter worth about $423,000. 72.59% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
In other Norfolk Southern news, Director Jennifer F. Scanlon purchased 525 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 29th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $191.52 per share, with a total value of $100,548.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 525 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $100,548. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Chairman James A. Squires sold 3,024 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $204.71, for a total transaction of $619,043.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.19% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.70 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.77 by ($0.07). Norfolk Southern had a net margin of 24.15% and a return on equity of 18.24%. The business had revenue of $2.93 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.95 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $2.50 earnings per share. Norfolk Southern’s revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts forecast that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post 10.67 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 10th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 5th will be issued a $0.94 dividend. This represents a $3.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.07%. This is an increase from Norfolk Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.86. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 2nd. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 36.17%.
Several research firms have recently commented on NSC. Barclays upped their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern from $200.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. TD Securities decreased their target price on shares of Norfolk Southern from $225.00 to $220.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, July 25th. Argus increased their target price on shares of Norfolk Southern from $210.00 to $220.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 7th. Cascend Securities lowered shares of Norfolk Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 17th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Norfolk Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 17th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $205.83.
Norfolk Southern Profile
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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