Vestor Capital LLC lifted its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 77,811 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,048 shares during the quarter. Norfolk Souther Corporation comprises about 2.3% of Vestor Capital LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 15th largest holding. Vestor Capital LLC’s holdings in Norfolk Souther Corporation were worth $9,470,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 3,039.1% in 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 in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 2.2% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 12,960,797 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,451,226,000 after purchasing an additional 281,088 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 5,571,441 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $678,044,000 after purchasing an additional 192,984 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in 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 valued at $471,313,000 after purchasing an additional 1,016,319 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 0.9% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,503,800 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $392,383,000 after purchasing an additional 30,856 shares in the last quarter. 70.60% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on NSC shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $133.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, June 13th. Cowen and Company reissued a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Wolfe Research raised shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “market perform” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $126.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, August 7th. UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $133.00 price objective on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a report on Monday, August 14th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Norfolk Souther Corporation presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $112.50.

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 stock was sold at an average price of $119.95, for a total value of $2,927,619.65. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 76,481 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,173,895.95. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 2,370 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.68, for a total value of $281,271.60. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 13,492 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,601,230.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 27,077 shares of company stock worth $3,244,531 in the last quarter. 0.36% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation (NSC) opened at 131.57 on Wednesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $124.72 and its 200-day moving average price is $119.20. Norfolk Souther Corporation has a 52-week low of $89.95 and a 52-week high of $133.81. The firm has a market capitalization of $37.92 billion, a PE ratio of 21.38 and a beta of 1.38.

Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The railroad operator reported $1.71 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 firm had revenue of $2.64 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.64 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.36 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 7.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Norfolk Souther Corporation will post $6.33 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Norfolk Souther Corporation announced that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, September 26th that allows the company to repurchase 50,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the railroad operator to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 11th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 7th were given a dividend of $0.61 per share. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.85%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 3rd. Norfolk Souther Corporation’s payout ratio is 39.61%.

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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.

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

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