James Investment Research Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm bought 3,859 shares of the railroad operator’s stock, valued at approximately $721,000.
Several other large investors have also bought and sold shares of NSC. Kentucky Retirement Systems acquired a new stake in Norfolk Southern during the 3rd quarter worth about $2,368,000. Nordea Investment Management AB grew its position in Norfolk Southern by 8.6% during the 3rd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 804,052 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $145,133,000 after purchasing an additional 63,820 shares during the period. Standard Life Aberdeen plc grew its position in Norfolk Southern by 20.3% during the 3rd quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc now owns 248,056 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $44,775,000 after purchasing an additional 41,912 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc grew its position in Norfolk Southern by 0.9% during the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,553,179 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $280,349,000 after purchasing an additional 13,737 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley grew its position in Norfolk Southern by 2.2% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 869,826 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $157,003,000 after purchasing an additional 19,090 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.03% of the company’s stock.
Norfolk Southern stock traded down $0.68 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $199.27. The company had a trading volume of 1,116,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,576,862. The firm has a market capitalization of $54.43 billion, a PE ratio of 20.95, a P/E/G ratio of 1.57 and a beta of 1.44. Norfolk Southern Corp. has a 12-month low of $138.65 and a 12-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.
Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last issued 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. The firm had revenue of $2.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.82 billion. Norfolk Southern had a net margin of 24.10% and a return on equity of 17.80%. Norfolk Southern’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.93 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post 10.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 10th. Investors of record on Friday, May 3rd will be paid a $0.86 dividend. This represents a $3.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 2nd. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 36.17%.
In other Norfolk Southern news, Chairman James A. Squires sold 3,024 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $204.71, for a total value of $619,043.04. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $204.57, for a total transaction of $511,425.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 12,919 shares in the company, valued at $2,642,839.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.
Several equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Cowen reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $230.00 price target (up from $200.00) on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Wednesday, April 24th. TD Securities raised their target price on Norfolk Southern from $210.00 to $225.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Argus raised their target price on Norfolk Southern from $210.00 to $220.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 7th. Barclays raised their target price on Norfolk Southern from $200.00 to $210.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on Norfolk Southern from $185.00 to $210.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $202.06.
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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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