Essex Financial Services Inc. lowered its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) by 7.9% in the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 10,390 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after selling 892 shares during the period. Essex Financial Services Inc.’s holdings in Norfolk Souther Corporation were worth $1,264,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in NSC. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 3,039.1% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,551,432 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $2,189,172,000 after purchasing an additional 18,928,598 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 936.1% during the 1st quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 5,378,457 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $602,226,000 after purchasing an additional 4,859,355 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position 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. Investec Asset Management LTD purchased a new position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation during the 1st quarter worth approximately $92,710,000. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 36.0% during the 1st quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,863,015 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $208,626,000 after purchasing an additional 492,922 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.60% of the company’s stock.

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NSC has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $133.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. ValuEngine raised shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Wolfe Research raised shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “market perform” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $126.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Finally, UBS AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $133.00 price objective on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $115.00.

Shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE NSC) opened at 127.35 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $36.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.69 and a beta of 1.32. Norfolk Souther Corporation has a 52 week low of $89.95 and a 52 week high of $128.42. The company’s 50-day moving average is $119.74 and its 200 day moving average is $118.25.

Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The railroad operator reported $1.71 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.65 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $2.64 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.64 billion. Norfolk Souther Corporation had a net margin of 17.66% and a return on equity of 14.45%. The firm’s revenue was up 7.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.36 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Norfolk Souther Corporation will post $6.32 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 11th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 7th were issued a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 3rd. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.92%. Norfolk Souther Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 39.61%.

In other Norfolk Souther Corporation news, Chairman James A. Squires sold 24,407 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $119.95, for a total transaction of $2,927,619.65. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 76,481 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,173,895.95. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 2,370 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.68, for a total transaction of $281,271.60. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 13,492 shares in the company, valued at $1,601,230.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 27,077 shares of company stock worth $3,244,531 over the last three months. 0.36% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC)

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