Public Sector Pension investment Board trimmed its holdings in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) by 50.5% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 32,773 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after selling 33,500 shares during the quarter. Public Sector Pension investment Board’s holdings in Norfolk Souther Corporation were worth $3,988,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in NSC. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 3,039.1% during the first 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 last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 936.1% during the first 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 last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 31.8% during the first 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 last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation by 17.1% during the second quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 6,343,533 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $772,007,000 after purchasing an additional 925,496 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Investec Asset Management LTD bought a new stake in shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation during the first quarter worth $92,710,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.60% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) opened at 130.46 on Friday. Norfolk Souther Corporation has a 52 week low of $89.95 and a 52 week high of $133.81. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $125.70 and its 200-day moving average price is $119.47. The stock has a market cap of $37.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.20 and a beta of 1.38.

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 consensus estimate of $1.65 by $0.06. Norfolk Souther Corporation had a return on equity of 14.45% and a net margin of 17.66%. The business had revenue of $2.64 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.64 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.36 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Norfolk Souther Corporation will post $6.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 11th. Investors 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 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.87%. Norfolk Souther Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is presently 39.61%.

Norfolk Souther Corporation declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, September 26th that permits the company to buyback 50,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the railroad operator to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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In related news, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.80, for a total transaction of $35,640.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 4,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $475,200. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at 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 stock was sold at an average price of $118.68, for a total value of $281,271.60. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 13,492 shares in the company, valued at approximately $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 90 days. 0.36% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on NSC. Cowen and Company reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $130.00 target price on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “hold” rating and issued a $124.00 price objective (up from $122.00) on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. Deutsche Bank AG downgraded Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $132.00 to $104.00 in a report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Morgan Stanley restated an “underweight” rating and issued a $75.00 price objective (down from $77.00) on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $112.56.

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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