Franklin Street Advisors Inc. NC reduced its stake in Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) by 0.7% in the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 14,385 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after selling 100 shares during the period. Franklin Street Advisors Inc. NC’s holdings in Norfolk Southern were worth $2,688,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other large investors have also bought and sold shares of NSC. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its stake in Norfolk Southern by 14,153.5% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 22,774,792 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 22,615,008 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Norfolk Southern during the fourth quarter valued at $400,313,000. Lazard Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Norfolk Southern by 27.7% during the first quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 7,333,967 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,370,644,000 after buying an additional 1,592,303 shares during the period. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its stake in Norfolk Southern by 87.5% during the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,196,717 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $178,960,000 after buying an additional 558,407 shares during the period. Finally, Ronna Sue Cohen boosted its stake in Norfolk Southern by 18,679.2% during the first quarter. Ronna Sue Cohen now owns 491,076 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $491,000 after buying an additional 488,461 shares during the period. 72.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
NSC has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Citigroup lifted their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $200.00 to $225.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 4th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $133.00 to $138.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Monday, April 29th. Cowen reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $230.00 price objective (up previously from $200.00) on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Bank of America raised Norfolk Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $205.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, April 1st. Finally, Deutsche Bank dropped their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $198.00 to $196.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $203.11.
NYSE NSC opened at $196.51 on Friday. Norfolk Southern Corp. has a twelve month low of $138.65 and a twelve month high of $211.46. The company has a current ratio of 0.67, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. The stock has a market cap of $52.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.73, a PEG ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.38.
Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.51 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 business had revenue of $2.84 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.82 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.93 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post 10.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 3rd were given a dividend of $0.86 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 2nd. This represents a $3.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.75%. Norfolk Southern’s payout ratio is 36.17%.
In other news, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 2,500 shares of Norfolk Southern stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $204.57, for a total value of $511,425.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 12,919 shares in the company, valued at $2,642,839.83. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman James A. Squires sold 3,024 shares of Norfolk Southern 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. Company insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.
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About Norfolk Southern
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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