Investors Buy Norfolk Southern (NSC) on Weakness

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Traders purchased shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) on weakness during trading hours on Friday. $118.72 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $76.93 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $41.79 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Norfolk Southern had the 28th highest net in-flow for the day. Norfolk Southern traded down ($0.24) for the day and closed at $163.92

A number of research firms have issued reports on NSC. Bank of America boosted their price target on Norfolk Southern from $183.00 to $187.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 1st. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on Norfolk Southern from $112.00 to $116.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 9th. Zacks Investment Research raised Norfolk Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $205.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, October 8th. Barclays reissued a “hold” rating and set a $190.00 price target on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Wednesday, September 26th. Finally, Edward Jones downgraded Norfolk Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $170.95.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55, a current ratio of 0.81 and a quick ratio of 0.70. The stock has a market capitalization of $47.33 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.96, a PEG ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 1.39.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 25th. The railroad operator reported $2.50 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.31 by $0.19. Norfolk Southern had a return on equity of 14.53% and a net margin of 52.36%. The company had revenue of $2.90 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.87 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.71 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 9.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post 9.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, VP Cynthia C. Earhart sold 2,370 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $175.09, for a total value of $414,963.30. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 2,370 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $414,963.30. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Chairman James A. Squires sold 34,077 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $171.73, for a total value of $5,852,043.21. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 63,958 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,983,507.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.36% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NSC. Kaizen Advisory LLC lifted its stake in shares of Norfolk Southern by 138.0% in the second quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC now owns 664 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $100,000 after acquiring an additional 385 shares in the last quarter. Marshall & Sullivan Inc. WA acquired a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern in the second quarter worth about $102,000. Sun Life Financial INC lifted its stake in shares of Norfolk Southern by 336.4% in the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 768 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $116,000 after acquiring an additional 592 shares in the last quarter. Bay Colony Advisory Group Inc d b a Bay Colony Advisors acquired a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern in the second quarter worth about $117,000. Finally, Bridgeworth LLC acquired a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern in the second quarter worth about $169,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.37% of the company’s stock.

About Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC)

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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