Shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) have received an average recommendation of “Hold” from the twenty-seven ratings firms that are covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 12 month price objective among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $126.17.

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on the company. Cowen and Company reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $130.00 target price on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $124.00 price objective (up from $122.00) on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Wells Fargo & Company cut Norfolk Souther Corporation from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, October 16th. Zacks Investment Research cut Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG cut Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $132.00 to $104.00 in a research note on Monday, July 31st.

Shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) traded down $1.85 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $130.36. The company had a trading volume of 1,230,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,560,000. Norfolk Souther Corporation has a 52-week low of $91.28 and a 52-week high of $134.52. The stock has a market capitalization of $37,300.00, a P/E ratio of 20.78, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 1.37. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.73 and a current ratio of 0.83.

Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The railroad operator reported $1.75 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.64 by $0.11. Norfolk Souther Corporation had a return on equity of 14.72% and a net margin of 17.86%. The firm had revenue of $2.67 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.65 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.55 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Norfolk Souther Corporation will post 6.46 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 11th. Investors of record on Friday, November 3rd will be issued a $0.61 dividend. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.87%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 2nd. Norfolk Souther Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently 38.79%.

Norfolk Souther Corporation announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Tuesday, September 26th that permits the company to repurchase 50,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the railroad operator to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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In related news, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.80, for a total value of $35,640.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 4,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $475,200. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman James A. Squires sold 24,407 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $119.95, for a total value of $2,927,619.65. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 76,481 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,173,895.95. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 30,645 shares of company stock worth $3,719,075. Insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of NSC. Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co purchased a new stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $224,000. Seizert Capital Partners LLC lifted its stake in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 5.9% during the 1st quarter. Seizert Capital Partners LLC now owns 11,821 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,324,000 after purchasing an additional 658 shares during the period. Quantbot Technologies LP purchased a new position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation during the 1st quarter worth $2,897,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its stake in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 31.8% during the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 4,209,269 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $471,313,000 after purchasing an additional 1,016,319 shares during the period. Finally, Folger Nolan Fleming Douglas Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation during the 1st quarter worth $211,000. 70.55% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Norfolk Souther Corporation

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC)

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