Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI) (TSE:CNR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Thursday morning.
According to Zacks, “Canadian National Railway Company's fourth-quarter results should benefit from volume growth at its key units like Overseas Intermodal, Frac sand, Coal and Petroleum coke exports, and Canadian grain. Rail freight revenues should also rise substantially in the quarter. The company's efforts to reward shareholders through dividend payments and share buybacks are also impressive. Additionally, the $2.6 billion capital plan announced by the company in April 2017 is aslo encouraging. However, high high fuel costs might hurt the company's fourth-quarter results as well. Deterioration in operating ratio is also a matter of concern. Declining revenues at the forest products, and grain and fertilizers segment might hurt the top line going forward. The company's high debt levels further adds to its woes. In fact, shares of the company have underperformed its industry over the last three months.”
CNI has been the subject of several other reports. Deutsche Bank started coverage on Canadian National Railway in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. They set a sell rating and a $73.00 price objective for the company. Royal Bank of Canada restated an outperform rating on shares of Canadian National Railway in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. CIBC upgraded Canadian National Railway from a neutral rating to a sector outperform rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. TD Securities upgraded Canadian National Railway from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, November 30th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on Canadian National Railway in a research report on Monday, November 13th. They set a buy rating and a $85.00 price objective for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. Canadian National Railway presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $79.67.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 8th were given a $0.3304 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 7th. This is an increase from Canadian National Railway’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.33. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.57%. Canadian National Railway’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 32.03%.
Canadian National Railway declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 24th that permits the company to repurchase 31,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the transportation company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of CNI. Hall Laurie J Trustee raised its position in Canadian National Railway by 4.1% in the second quarter. Hall Laurie J Trustee now owns 1,275 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $103,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares during the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. raised its position in Canadian National Railway by 0.9% in the second quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 1,416 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $115,000 after purchasing an additional 12 shares during the last quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC bought a new position in Canadian National Railway in the third quarter valued at about $200,000. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH bought a new position in Canadian National Railway in the second quarter valued at about $203,000. Finally, Security National Bank of SO Dak bought a new position in Canadian National Railway in the third quarter valued at about $203,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.73% of the company’s stock.
About Canadian National Railway
Canadian National Railway Company is engaged in the rail and related transportation business. The Company’s network of approximately 20,000 route miles of track spans Canada and mid-America, connecting approximately three coasts, including the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico and serving the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert (British Columbia), Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile (Alabama), and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth (Minnesota)/Superior (Wisconsin), and Jackson (Mississippi), with connections to all points in North America.
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