Beacon Investment Advisory Services Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor purchased 11,789 shares of the railroad operator’s stock, valued at approximately $1,559,000.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in NSC. Commonwealth Bank of Australia lifted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 2,921.5% during the 3rd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 1,277,777 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $168,353,000 after purchasing an additional 1,235,488 shares during the last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 17.1% in the 2nd quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 6,343,533 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $772,007,000 after acquiring an additional 925,496 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 13.0% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,618,986 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $805,530,000 after acquiring an additional 762,416 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 3.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,251,999 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $2,464,667,000 after buying an additional 700,567 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Investec Asset Management LTD raised its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 83.8% in the 2nd quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD now owns 1,521,453 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $185,161,000 after buying an additional 693,463 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.55% of the company’s stock.

In other news, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 3,568 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.00, for a total transaction of $474,544.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 15,837 shares in the company, valued at $2,106,321. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 2,370 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $134.71, for a total value of $319,262.70. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 6,370 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $858,102.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 12,113 shares of company stock valued at $1,594,148 in the last quarter. 0.36% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on the company. UBS reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $133.00 target price on shares of Norfolk Southern in a report on Monday, August 14th. Wells Fargo & Company lowered Norfolk Southern from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Aegis reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $125.00 price objective (up from $120.00) on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Citigroup increased their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $124.00 to $135.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Norfolk Southern from $75.00 to $78.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $127.62.

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) traded up $0.73 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $141.55. The company had a trading volume of 1,405,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,766,105. Norfolk Southern Corp. has a fifty-two week low of $105.89 and a fifty-two week high of $142.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a current ratio of 0.83 and a quick ratio of 0.73. The company has a market capitalization of $40,295.48, a PE ratio of 22.14, a P/E/G ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 1.38.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The railroad operator reported $1.75 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.64 by $0.11. Norfolk Southern had a return on equity of 14.72% and a net margin of 17.86%. The business had revenue of $2.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.65 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.55 earnings per share. Norfolk Southern’s quarterly revenue was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post 6.48 earnings per share for the current year.

Norfolk Southern announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, September 26th that permits the company to buyback 50,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization permits the railroad operator to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 11th. Investors of record on Friday, November 3rd were issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.72%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 2nd. Norfolk Southern’s payout ratio is currently 38.36%.

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Norfolk Southern Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC)

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