Marshall Wace North America L.P. boosted its stake in shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) by 1,188.9% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 374,453 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after acquiring an additional 345,401 shares during the period. Marshall Wace North America L.P.’s holdings in Norfolk Southern were worth $69,981,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of NSC. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Norfolk Southern during the fourth quarter worth $400,313,000. Lazard Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 27.7% during the 1st quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 7,333,967 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,370,644,000 after purchasing an additional 1,592,303 shares during the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 87.5% during the 4th quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,196,717 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $178,960,000 after purchasing an additional 558,407 shares during the last quarter. Ronna Sue Cohen lifted its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 18,679.2% during the 1st quarter. Ronna Sue Cohen now owns 491,076 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $491,000 after purchasing an additional 488,461 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lifted its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 42.1% during the 4th quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 1,577,738 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $235,929,000 after purchasing an additional 467,131 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.84% of the company’s stock.
NSC has been the subject of several analyst reports. Citigroup increased their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $200.00 to $225.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, April 4th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $133.00 to $138.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday, April 29th. Cowen reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $230.00 price objective (up previously from $200.00) on shares of Norfolk Southern in a report on Wednesday, April 24th. Bank of America upgraded Norfolk Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $205.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, April 1st. Finally, Deutsche Bank decreased their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $198.00 to $196.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Norfolk Southern has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $203.11.
Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.17 by $0.34. Norfolk Southern had a return on equity of 17.80% and a net margin of 24.10%. The firm had revenue of $2.84 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.82 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.93 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts expect that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post 10.88 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 10th. Investors of record on Friday, May 3rd were given a $0.86 dividend. This represents a $3.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.77%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 2nd. Norfolk Southern’s payout ratio is 36.17%.
In other Norfolk Southern news, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $204.57, for a total transaction of $511,425.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 12,919 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,642,839.83. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman James A. Squires sold 3,024 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $204.71, for a total value of $619,043.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.19% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Norfolk Southern Company 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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