Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. decreased its position in Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) by 3.9% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 5,114 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after selling 208 shares during the quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc.’s holdings in Norfolk Souther Corporation were worth $622,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 3,039.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,551,432 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $2,189,172,000 after acquiring an additional 18,928,598 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 2.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 12,960,797 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,451,226,000 after acquiring an additional 281,088 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 936.1% in the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 5,378,457 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $602,226,000 after acquiring an additional 4,859,355 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 31.8% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 4,209,269 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $471,313,000 after acquiring an additional 1,016,319 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 0.9% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,503,800 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $392,383,000 after acquiring an additional 30,856 shares during the last quarter. 70.60% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation (NSC) opened at 132.51 on Thursday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $120.17 and its 200-day moving average price is $118.29. Norfolk Souther Corporation has a one year low of $89.95 and a one year high of $132.55. The company has a market cap of $38.19 billion, a PE ratio of 21.53 and a beta of 1.32.

Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The railroad operator reported $1.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.65 by $0.06. Norfolk Souther Corporation had a net margin of 17.66% and a return on equity of 14.45%. The company had revenue of $2.64 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.64 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.36 EPS. Norfolk Souther Corporation’s quarterly revenue was up 7.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Norfolk Souther Corporation will post $6.32 EPS for the current year.

Norfolk Souther Corporation announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, September 26th that authorizes the company to buyback 50,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the railroad operator to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 7th were paid a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 3rd. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.84%. Norfolk Souther Corporation’s payout ratio is currently 39.61%.

In other news, Chairman James A. Squires sold 24,407 shares of the firm’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 transaction of $2,927,619.65. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 76,481 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,173,895.95. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 2,370 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 owns 13,492 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,601,230.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 27,077 shares of company stock valued at $3,244,531. 0.36% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

NSC has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. ValuEngine raised Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $133.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. Scotiabank downgraded Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “sector outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $130.00 target price on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $139.00 target price (up previously from $133.00) on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $115.00.

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Norfolk Souther Corporation 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.

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

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