Norfolk Southern (NSC) Lifted to Buy at Scotiabank

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) was upgraded by investment analysts at Scotiabank from a “sector perform” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Friday. The firm currently has a $165.00 price target on the railroad operator’s stock. Scotiabank’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 6.91% from the company’s previous close.

NSC has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Loop Capital downgraded shares of Norfolk Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $133.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Wells Fargo & Co downgraded shares of Norfolk Southern from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $136.00 price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Monday, November 13th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $126.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Morgan Stanley reiterated an “underweight” rating and issued a $75.00 price objective (down previously from $77.00) on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $132.90.

Norfolk Southern (NSC) opened at $154.34 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $44,160.00, a PE ratio of 24.54, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.77 and a beta of 1.37. Norfolk Southern has a 1 year low of $105.89 and a 1 year high of $156.08. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a current ratio of 0.83 and a quick ratio of 0.73.

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

Norfolk Southern announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Tuesday, September 26th that authorizes the company to buyback 50,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the railroad operator to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 6,175 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $129.61, for a total transaction of $800,341.75. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 7,568 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $980,888.48. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 2,370 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $134.71, for a total transaction of $319,262.70. Following the sale, the vice president now directly 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 three months. Corporate insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Krilogy Financial LLC grew its stake in Norfolk Southern by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 855 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $104,000 after acquiring an additional 22 shares in the last quarter. Sawyer & Company Inc purchased a new stake in Norfolk Southern during the 4th quarter valued at about $104,000. AlphaMark Advisors LLC grew its stake in Norfolk Southern by 20.7% during the 2nd quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 875 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $106,000 after acquiring an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. grew its stake in Norfolk Southern by 58.8% during the 2nd quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 945 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $115,000 after acquiring an additional 350 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Live Your Vision LLC grew its stake in Norfolk Southern by 25.6% during the 2nd quarter. Live Your Vision LLC now owns 1,130 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $128,000 after acquiring an additional 230 shares in the last quarter. 72.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Norfolk Southern Company 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC)

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