A number of research firms have changed their ratings and price targets for Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC):

  • 1/8/2019 – Norfolk Southern is now covered by analysts at Atlantic Securities. They set a “neutral” rating on the stock.
  • 1/7/2019 – Norfolk Southern had its price target raised by analysts at Morgan Stanley from $115.00 to $116.00. They now have an “underweight” rating on the stock.
  • 1/7/2019 – Norfolk Southern had its price target lowered by analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG from $187.00 to $175.00. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock.
  • 1/3/2019 – Norfolk Southern had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Argus.
  • 12/31/2018 – Norfolk Southern had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Zacks Investment Research. They now have a $162.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Norfolk Southern is benefiting significantly from volume growth. The company's efforts to reduce costs are also impressive. In fact, operating ratio is constantly improving mainly owing to its cost reduction initiatives. A low effective tax rate is boosting the company’s bottom-line performance. Norfolk Southern’s efforts to reward its shareholders through dividends and buybacks are commendable as well.  Owing to these tailwinds, shares of the company have gained nearly 1% in a year's time. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has increased 0.3% over the last 60 days. Despite such positives, the company's automotive division has been performing disappointingly for quite sometime and the situation is unlikely to improve dramatically in the near future. The rise in operating expenses  also bother us. We are also concerned about the company's high debt levels.”
  • 12/18/2018 – Norfolk Southern was upgraded by analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating. They now have a $203.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $198.00.
  • 12/18/2018 – Norfolk Southern was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Norfolk Southern is benefiting significantly from volume growth. The company's efforts to reduce costs are also impressive. In fact, operating ratio is constantly improving mainly owing to its cost reduction initiatives. A low effective tax rate is boosting the company’s bottom-line performance. Norfolk Southern’s efforts to reward its shareholders through dividends and buybacks are commendable as well.  Owing to these tailwinds, shares of the company have gained nearly 3% in a year's time. Despite such positives, the company's automotive division has been performing disappointingly for quite sometime and the situation is unlikely to improve dramatically in the near future. The rise in operating expenses due to costs related to overall lower network velocity also bother us. We are also concerned about the company's high debt levels.”
  • 12/17/2018 – Norfolk Southern was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $169.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of Norfolk Southern have outperformed its industry so far this year due to multiple tailwinds. The company is benefiting significantly from volume growth. Norfolk Southern's efforts to reduce costs are also impressive. In fact, operating ratio is constantly improving mainly owing to its cost reduction initiatives. A low effective tax rate is boosting the company’s bottom-line performance. Norfolk Southern’s efforts to reward its shareholders through dividends and buybacks are commendable as well. The positivity revolving around the stock is evident from the Zacks Consnesus Estimate for current-quarter earnings being revised 1.3% upward in the last 60 days. However, the company's automotive division has been performing disappointingly for quite sometime and the situation is unlikely to improve dramatically in the near future. We are also concerned about the company's high debt levels.”
  • 12/11/2018 – Norfolk Southern was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Norfolk Southern have outperformed its industry in a year's time due to multiple tailwinds. The company is benefiting significantly from volume growth. Norfolk Southern's efforts to reduce costs are also impressive. In fact, operating ratio is constantly improving mainly owing to its cost reduction initiatives. A low effective tax rate is boosting the company’s bottom-line performance. Norfolk Southern’s efforts to reward its shareholders through dividends and buybacks are commendable as well. However, the company's automotive division has been performing disappointingly for quite sometime and the situation is unlikely to improve dramatically in the near future. We are also concerned about the company's high debt levels. Also, decline in coal volumes is a cause for concern because the fortune of railroads are tied to coal. “
  • 11/26/2018 – Norfolk Southern was given a new $188.00 price target on by analysts at Loop Capital. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 11/21/2018 – Norfolk Southern was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $191.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of Norfolk Southern have outperformed its industry and fellow railroad operator Union Pacific in a year's time due to multiple tailwinds. The company is benefiting significantly from volume growth. Norfolk Southern's efforts to reduce costs are also impressive. In fact, operating ratio is constantly improving mainly owing to its cost reduction initiatives. A low effective tax rate is boosting the company’s bottom-line performance. Norfolk Southern’s efforts to reward its shareholders through dividends and buybacks are commendable as well.  The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has been revised upward to the tune of 1.5% over the last 60 days, highlighting positivity surrounding the stock. However, high operating expenses mainly due to escalating fuel prices raise concerns. Additionally, its high debt levels are worrisome.”
  • 11/15/2018 – Norfolk Southern was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Norfolk Southern Corporation have outperformed its industry and fellow railroad operator Union Pacific in a year's time.Ushering in further good news, Norfolk Southern reported better-than-expected earnings per share and revenues in the third quarter of 2018. Both the metrics also improved year over year. Furthermore, the company is benefiting from volume growth. Norfolk Southern's efforts to reduce costs are also impressive. Meanwhile, operating ratio is constantly improving mainly owing to its cost reduction initiatives. Norfolk Southern’s efforts to reward its shareholders are impressive too.  However, higher operating expenses due to higher fuel prices as well as costs related to overall lower network velocity raise concerns. Additionally, its high debt levels also bother us.”

NYSE:NSC opened at $163.58 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. The firm has a market cap of $43.31 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.30 and a beta of 1.33. Norfolk Southern Corp. has a twelve month low of $127.79 and a twelve month high of $186.91.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.52 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.44 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $2.95 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.90 billion. Norfolk Southern had a net margin of 52.82% and a return on equity of 15.12%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 10.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.75 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post 9.24 EPS for the current year.

In other Norfolk Southern news, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 801 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $172.55, for a total value of $138,212.55. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 9,406 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,623,005.30. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of NSC. Capital International Investors increased its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 47.1% in the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 7,020,157 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,267,138,000 after purchasing an additional 2,249,296 shares during the last quarter. Packer & Co Ltd increased its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 597.3% in the 4th quarter. Packer & Co Ltd now owns 1,239,800 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $26,588,000 after purchasing an additional 1,062,000 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 14.8% in the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 8,080,231 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,458,480,000 after purchasing an additional 1,043,444 shares during the last quarter. FIL Ltd increased its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 8,233.6% in the 3rd quarter. FIL Ltd now owns 842,360 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $152,046,000 after purchasing an additional 832,252 shares during the last quarter. Finally, PointState Capital LP increased its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 188.1% in the 3rd quarter. PointState Capital LP now owns 1,208,627 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $218,157,000 after purchasing an additional 789,086 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.95% of the company’s stock.

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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