The Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) Upgrade to Buy by Argus

The Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) Upgrade to Buy by Argus

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) was upgraded by equities researchers at Argus from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $104.00 price objective on the railroad operator’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $91.60. Argus’ price objective suggests a potential downside of 0.33% from the company’s previous close.

Several other analysts also recently commented on the stock. Deutsche Bank AG started coverage on shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. in a report on Wednesday, November 2nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $110.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $103.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, October 31st. Atlantic Securities started coverage on shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. in a report on Thursday, August 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $104.00 price objective on the stock. Aegis started coverage on shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. in a report on Monday, October 24th. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. Finally, Avondale Partners downgraded shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $92.65.

Shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) traded up 0.29% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $104.34. 919,934 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Norfolk Southern Corp. has a 1-year low of $64.51 and a 1-year high of $105.50. The stock has a market capitalization of $30.46 billion, a PE ratio of 19.32 and a beta of 1.13. The company’s 50 day moving average is $96.80 and its 200 day moving average is $90.93.

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 26th. The railroad operator reported $1.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.45 by $0.10. Norfolk Southern Corp. had a net margin of 16.27% and a return on equity of 13.15%. The business had revenue of $2.52 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.25 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.49 EPS. Norfolk Southern Corp.’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post $5.55 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, December 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 4th will be paid a dividend of $0.59 per share. This represents a $2.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.26%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 2nd. Norfolk Southern Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 43.70%.

In other news, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 2,170 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.21, for a total value of $197,925.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 8,560 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $780,757.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Marta R. Stewart sold 2,023 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.10, for a total transaction of $190,364.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 12,127 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,141,150.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.66% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of NSC. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Norfolk Southern Corp. by 2.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,272,445 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,725,793,000 after buying an additional 478,702 shares during the last quarter. Capital International Investors raised its position in Norfolk Southern Corp. by 4.7% in the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 6,123,600 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $594,357,000 after buying an additional 273,400 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in Norfolk Southern Corp. by 5.4% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 5,703,831 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $553,614,000 after buying an additional 292,319 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised its position in Norfolk Southern Corp. by 2.1% in the third quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 4,906,015 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $476,178,000 after buying an additional 98,768 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its position in Norfolk Southern Corp. by 4.5% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 4,024,586 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $390,626,000 after buying an additional 175,129 shares during the last quarter. 68.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Norfolk Southern Corp.

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