Avestar Capital LLC bought a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm bought 1,198 shares of the railroad operator’s stock, valued at approximately $171,000.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Norfolk Southern by 2.9% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,925,021 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $3,032,037,000 after purchasing an additional 584,131 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its stake in Norfolk Southern by 4.5% in the fourth quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 4,737,233 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $686,425,000 after acquiring an additional 205,394 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Norfolk Southern by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,819,766 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $407,666,000 after acquiring an additional 58,309 shares during the period. Deutsche Bank AG grew its stake in Norfolk Southern by 4.8% in the fourth quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 1,726,899 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $250,220,000 after acquiring an additional 78,610 shares during the period. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc grew its stake in Norfolk Southern by 2.7% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,661,751 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $219,751,000 after acquiring an additional 43,131 shares during the period. 72.50% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. Cowen reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $165.00 price objective (up previously from $143.00) on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. Loop Capital cut Norfolk Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $133.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Monday, November 27th. Credit Suisse Group reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $166.00 price objective (down previously from $178.00) on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research note on Thursday, March 8th. Zacks Investment Research raised Norfolk Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $166.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, January 29th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised 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 investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $140.15.
Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) opened at $142.56 on Tuesday. Norfolk Southern Corp. has a fifty-two week low of $109.27 and a fifty-two week high of $157.15. The company has a quick ratio of 0.76, a current ratio of 0.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56. The firm has a market capitalization of $40,490.00, a P/E ratio of 19.99, a PEG ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 1.32.
Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 24th. The railroad operator reported $1.69 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.56 by $0.13. Norfolk Southern had a return on equity of 14.16% and a net margin of 51.22%. The company had revenue of $2.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.66 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.42 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.2% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post 8.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, March 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 2nd were issued a $0.72 dividend. This represents a $2.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.02%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 1st. This is a positive change from Norfolk Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 40.39%.
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About Norfolk Southern
Norfolk Southern Corporation is a holding company engaged in the rail transportation business. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated approximately 19,500 miles of road primarily in the East and Midwest. The Company is engaged in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products and finished goods primarily in the Southeast, East and Midwest.
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