Probity Advisors Inc. decreased its position in shares of Norfolk Southern Co. (NYSE:NSC – Get Rating) by 5.6% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 6,438 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after selling 381 shares during the quarter. Probity Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Norfolk Southern were worth $1,917,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in NSC. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 0.3% during the third quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,845,669 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $917,237,000 after buying an additional 10,064 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 10.6% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,359,950 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $803,869,000 after buying an additional 322,892 shares during the period. London Co. of Virginia boosted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 1.5% during the third quarter. London Co. of Virginia now owns 1,815,223 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $434,292,000 after buying an additional 26,630 shares during the period. FIL Ltd boosted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 19.9% during the third quarter. FIL Ltd now owns 1,417,985 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $339,254,000 after buying an additional 235,125 shares during the period. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp boosted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 5.7% during the fourth quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp now owns 1,151,532 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $342,823,000 after buying an additional 62,197 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.63% of the company’s stock.
Several research analysts have issued reports on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their target price on Norfolk Southern from $318.00 to $308.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, April 8th. Susquehanna Bancshares decreased their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern from $356.00 to $350.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 7th. Susquehanna decreased their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern from $356.00 to $350.00 and set a “positive” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, April 7th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Norfolk Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $299.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, March 29th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern from $262.00 to $273.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 27th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $309.41.
Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC – Get Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 27th. The railroad operator reported $2.93 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.91 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $2.92 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.83 billion. Norfolk Southern had a net margin of 26.58% and a return on equity of 21.95%. The firm’s revenue was up 10.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $2.66 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Norfolk Southern Co. will post 13.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 6th will be given a $1.24 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 5th. This represents a $4.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.99%. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 40.03%.
Norfolk Southern announced that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, March 29th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the railroad operator to buy up to 14.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, Director Steven F. Leer sold 700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $265.51, for a total transaction of $185,857.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, President Alan H. Shaw sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $256.70, for a total transaction of $256,700.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.31% of the company’s stock.
Norfolk Southern Profile (Get Rating)
Norfolk Southern Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods in the United States. The company transports agriculture, forest, and consumer products comprising soybeans, wheat, corn, fertilizers, livestock and poultry feed, food products, food oils, flour, sweeteners, ethanol, lumber and wood products, pulp board and paper products, wood fibers, wood pulp, scrap paper, beverages, canned goods, and consumer products; chemicals consist of sulfur and related chemicals, petroleum products, chlorine and bleaching compounds, plastics, rubber, industrial chemicals, chemical wastes, and sand; metals and construction materials, such as steel, aluminum products, machinery, scrap metals, cement, aggregates, minerals, clay, transportation equipment, and military-related products; and automotive, including finished motor vehicles and automotive parts, as well as coal.
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