Norfolk Souther Corporation (NSC) Price Target Raised to $78.00

Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) had its target price upped by Morgan Stanley from $75.00 to $78.00 in a report released on Thursday morning. Morgan Stanley currently has an underweight rating on the railroad operator’s stock.

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on NSC. Wells Fargo & Company cut shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report on Monday, October 16th. ValuEngine cut shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Citigroup Inc. upped their target price 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. J P Morgan Chase & Co upped their target price on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from $121.00 to $132.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $143.00 target price (up from $133.00) on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a report on Thursday, October 12th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Norfolk Souther Corporation has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $123.61.

Norfolk Souther Corporation (NSC) traded down 0.475% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $133.015. 581,714 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Norfolk Souther Corporation has a 52-week low of $90.98 and a 52-week high of $134.52. The firm has a market cap of $38.33 billion, a PE ratio of 21.614 and a beta of 1.38. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $130.30 and its 200 day moving average is $121.41.

Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The railroad operator reported $1.75 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.64 by $0.11. Norfolk Souther Corporation had a net margin of 17.86% and a return on equity of 14.72%. The firm had revenue of $2.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.65 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.55 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Norfolk Souther Corporation will post $6.46 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Norfolk Souther Corporation declared that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, September 26th that allows the company to buyback 50,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the railroad operator to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 11th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 2nd. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.83%. Norfolk Souther Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 38.36%.

In other Norfolk Souther Corporation news, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 2,370 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.68, for a total transaction of $281,271.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 13,492 shares in the company, valued at $1,601,230.56. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 300 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.80, for a total transaction of $35,640.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 4,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $475,200. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 30,645 shares of company stock valued at $3,719,075 in the last quarter. 0.36% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BB&T Investment Services Inc. bought a new position in Norfolk Souther Corporation during the second quarter valued at $287,000. Korea Investment CORP lifted its position in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 7.8% during the second quarter. Korea Investment CORP now owns 269,011 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $32,739,000 after purchasing an additional 19,485 shares during the last quarter. Israel Discount Bank of New York bought a new position in Norfolk Souther Corporation during the first quarter valued at $456,000. Airain ltd bought a new position in Norfolk Souther Corporation during the second quarter valued at $2,410,000. Finally, Pillar Pacific Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 1.2% during the second quarter. Pillar Pacific Capital Management LLC now owns 59,165 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $7,200,000 after purchasing an additional 715 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.55% of the company’s stock.

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.

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