Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday. The railroad operator reported $1.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.77 by $0.16, MarketWatch Earnings reports. Norfolk Southern had a return on equity of 14.16% and a net margin of 51.22%. The company had revenue of $2.72 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.68 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.48 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.5% compared to the same quarter last year.
NYSE NSC traded down $0.86 during trading on Thursday, reaching $145.10. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 274,536 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,839,415. The firm has a market capitalization of $38,331.10, a P/E ratio of 22.08, a P/E/G ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.31. The company has a quick ratio of 0.76, a current ratio of 0.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56. Norfolk Southern has a one year low of $111.21 and a one year high of $157.15.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 11th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 4th will be paid a $0.72 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 3rd. This represents a $2.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.98%. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 43.57%.
A number of analysts recently issued reports on the company. Cowen reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $165.00 price objective (up from $143.00) on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. Loop Capital decreased their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $139.00 to $135.00 and set a “sell” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. Credit Suisse Group reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $166.00 price objective (down from $178.00) on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research note on Thursday, March 8th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Norfolk Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $166.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, January 29th. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $77.00 to $100.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $140.60.
In other news, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 467 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $150.17, for a total transaction of $70,129.39. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 5,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $750,850. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $142.90, for a total value of $142,900.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 13,166 shares of company stock worth $1,958,040 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Sawyer & Company Inc purchased a new stake in Norfolk Southern during the 4th quarter valued at about $104,000. Arcadia Investment Management Corp MI boosted its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 165.1% during the 4th quarter. Arcadia Investment Management Corp MI now owns 835 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $121,000 after acquiring an additional 520 shares during the period. Certified Advisory Corp purchased a new stake in Norfolk Southern during the 4th quarter valued at about $137,000. Welch Investments LLC purchased a new stake in Norfolk Southern during the 4th quarter valued at about $156,000. Finally, Woodard & Co. Asset Management Group Inc. ADV purchased a new stake in Norfolk Southern during the 4th quarter valued at about $163,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.29% 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. It also transports overseas freight through various Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports, as well as coal, automotive, and industrial products; and provides commuter passenger services.
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