BMO Capital Markets Raises Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) Price Target to $135.00

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) had its price target hoisted by BMO Capital Markets from $127.00 to $135.00 in a report published on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a market perform rating on the railroad operator’s stock.

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Wolfe Research upgraded Norfolk Southern Corp. from a market perform rating to a buy rating and set a $126.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, August 7th. ValuEngine cut Norfolk Southern Corp. from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. BidaskClub cut Norfolk Southern Corp. from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Cowen and Company restated an outperform rating and issued a $130.00 price target on shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Finally, UBS AG restated a buy rating and issued a $133.00 price target on shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. in a research note on Monday, August 14th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $123.61.

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) traded up 0.30% during trading on Thursday, reaching $133.65. The company had a trading volume of 1,688,892 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $38.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.72 and a beta of 1.38. Norfolk Southern Corp. has a 1-year low of $90.98 and a 1-year high of $134.52. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $130.30 and a 200-day moving average of $121.41.

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The railroad operator reported $1.75 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.64 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $2.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.65 billion. Norfolk Southern Corp. had a return on equity of 15.96% and a net margin of 18.95%. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.55 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post $6.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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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 $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 2nd. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.83%. Norfolk Southern Corp.’s payout ratio is currently 38.36%.

Norfolk Southern Corp. announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, September 26th that permits the company to repurchase 50,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the railroad operator to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.80, for a total value of $35,640.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 4,000 shares in the company, valued at $475,200. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman James A. Squires sold 24,407 shares of the firm’s 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 sale, the chairman now owns 76,481 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,173,895.95. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 27,077 shares of company stock valued at $3,244,531. 0.36% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in NSC. D Orazio & Associates Inc. lifted its position in Norfolk Southern Corp. by 0.5% in the first quarter. D Orazio & Associates Inc. now owns 891 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $100,000 after purchasing an additional 4 shares during the period. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. by 12,069.6% during the 2nd quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 12,413 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $102,000 after acquiring an additional 12,311 shares during the period. Krilogy Financial LLC lifted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 855 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $104,000 after acquiring an additional 22 shares during the period. AlphaMark Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. by 20.7% during the 2nd quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 875 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $106,000 after acquiring an additional 150 shares during the period. Finally, Parallel Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. by 29.2% during the 1st quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 974 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $114,000 after acquiring an additional 220 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.52% of the company’s stock.

Norfolk Southern Corp. 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.

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