Saturna Capital CORP cut its stake in Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) by 20.5% during the third quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 304,725 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after selling 78,525 shares during the quarter. Saturna Capital CORP owned about 0.11% of Norfolk Southern worth $40,297,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Norfolk Southern by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,251,999 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $2,464,667,000 after buying an additional 700,567 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in Norfolk Southern by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,097,333 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $2,445,845,000 after buying an additional 631,018 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its stake in Norfolk Southern by 13.0% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,618,986 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $805,530,000 after buying an additional 762,416 shares during the last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC grew its stake in Norfolk Southern by 17.1% during the 2nd quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 6,343,533 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $772,007,000 after buying an additional 925,496 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its stake in Norfolk Southern by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 5,571,441 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $678,044,000 after buying an additional 192,984 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.55% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Argus boosted their target price on Norfolk Southern from $145.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 31st. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “underweight” rating and set a $75.00 price target (down previously from $77.00) on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Wells Fargo & Company cut Norfolk Southern from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. ValuEngine cut Norfolk Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Finally, Citigroup lifted their price target on Norfolk Southern from $124.00 to $135.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $127.62.

In other news, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 2,370 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $134.71, for a total value of $319,262.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 6,370 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $858,102.70. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 3,568 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.00, for a total value of $474,544.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 15,837 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,106,321. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 12,113 shares of company stock valued at $1,594,148. Insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) traded down $1.05 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $138.84. The stock had a trading volume of 2,308,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,774,197. The firm has a market cap of $40,029.36, a PE ratio of 22.00, a PEG ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 1.38. The company has a current ratio of 0.83, a quick ratio of 0.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73. Norfolk Southern Corp. has a fifty-two week low of $105.16 and a fifty-two week high of $141.81.

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

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 11th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 3rd will be issued a $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 2nd. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.76%. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 38.36%.

Norfolk Southern declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Tuesday, September 26th that allows the company to repurchase 50,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the railroad operator to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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About Norfolk Southern

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 Southern (NYSE:NSC)

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