Westwood Holdings Group Inc. Buys Shares of 25,655 Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC)

Westwood Holdings Group Inc. bought a new position in Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) in the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor bought 25,655 shares of the railroad operator’s stock, valued at approximately $4,794,000.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc grew its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 1.6% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 21,159,132 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $3,819,223,000 after buying an additional 336,725 shares in the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 2.7% during the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 9,124 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,364,000 after buying an additional 236 shares in the last quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH grew its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 3.2% during the fourth quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH now owns 6,586 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $985,000 after buying an additional 202 shares in the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. boosted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 0.8% during the 4th quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 30,781 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $4,603,000 after acquiring an additional 256 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 14,153.5% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 22,774,792 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $152,000 after acquiring an additional 22,615,008 shares during the last quarter. 72.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Norfolk Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $226.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, May 9th. Royal Bank of Canada cut shares of Norfolk Southern from a “sector perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $180.00 to $178.00 in a research report on Tuesday, February 19th. Barclays boosted their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern from $200.00 to $210.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. ValuEngine cut shares of Norfolk Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 1st. Finally, Loop Capital boosted their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern to $237.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $203.11.

In other news, Chairman James A. Squires sold 3,024 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $204.71, for a total transaction of $619,043.04. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, 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 in the company, valued at approximately $2,642,839.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

NYSE NSC traded down $2.32 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $194.19. The company had a trading volume of 44,745 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,233,199. Norfolk Southern Corp. has a 1-year low of $138.65 and a 1-year high of $211.46. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 0.67 and a quick ratio of 0.59. The stock has a market capitalization of $52.99 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.46, a PEG ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.38.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.51 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.17 by $0.34. Norfolk Southern had a net margin of 24.10% and a return on equity of 17.80%. The company had revenue of $2.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.82 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.93 earnings per share. Norfolk Southern’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts anticipate that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post 10.89 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 3rd were given a $0.86 dividend. 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 1.77%. Norfolk Southern’s payout ratio is currently 36.17%.

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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.

Further Reading: Margin

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC)

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