Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) in a report issued on Wednesday morning, Benzinga’s Daily Ratings Newsletter reports. The firm issued a buy rating and a $237.00 price target on the railroad operator’s stock.

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. Deutsche Bank upgraded CYBERAGENT INC/ADR from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, June 12th. ValuEngine downgraded Acceleron Pharma from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, April 18th. TD Securities increased their price objective on TFI International from C$52.00 to C$54.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Barclays increased their price objective on T. Rowe Price Group from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, Citigroup set a $20.00 price objective on Compania de Minas Buenaventura SAA and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, April 4th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $204.47.

Shares of Norfolk Southern stock traded up $3.29 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $201.50. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,557,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,586,523. Norfolk Southern has a 12 month low of $138.65 and a 12 month high of $211.46. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $198.14. The company has a market capitalization of $52.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.19, a PEG ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 1.32. The company has a quick ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 0.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.17 by $0.34. Norfolk Southern had a return on equity of 17.80% and a net margin of 24.10%. The company had revenue of $2.84 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.82 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.93 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Norfolk Southern will post 10.84 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Norfolk Southern news, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $204.57, for a total value of $511,425.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 12,919 shares in the company, valued at $2,642,839.83. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman James A. Squires sold 3,024 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $204.71, for a total value of $619,043.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.19% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of NSC. Advisors Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 2.7% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 9,124 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,364,000 after buying an additional 236 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,210,893 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $480,144,000 after buying an additional 17,877 shares during the last quarter. Natixis Advisors L.P. lifted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 7.1% in the fourth quarter. Natixis Advisors L.P. now owns 27,544 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $4,118,000 after buying an additional 1,828 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp lifted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 13.7% in the fourth quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 136,500 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $20,370,000 after buying an additional 16,481 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Brown Advisory Inc. lifted its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 76,750 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $11,477,000 after buying an additional 1,068 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.50% of the company’s stock.

About Norfolk Southern

Norfolk Southern Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods. The company transports industrial products, including chemicals, agriculture, and metals and construction materials; and coal, automobiles, and automotive parts.

Further Reading: Preferred Stock

Analyst Recommendations for Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC)

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