Shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) have received an average recommendation of “Hold” from the twenty-four research firms that are covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, twelve have given a hold recommendation and nine have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1-year price objective among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $141.05.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on NSC shares. Scotiabank raised Norfolk Southern from a “sector perform” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $165.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Loop Capital downgraded Norfolk Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $133.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, November 27th. ValuEngine upgraded Norfolk Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, December 31st. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $136.00 price target on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research note on Friday, November 10th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $156.00 price target on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research note on Monday, January 8th.

In other Norfolk Southern news, Chairman James A. Squires sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $150.10, for a total transaction of $1,501,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 6,175 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $129.61, for a total value of $800,341.75. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 7,568 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $980,888.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 19,012 shares of company stock worth $2,690,734 in the last quarter. 0.36% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BB&T Investment Services Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern during the second quarter valued at approximately $287,000. Patten Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 533.7% in the third quarter. Patten Group Inc. now owns 55,343 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,135,000 after purchasing an additional 46,610 shares during the last quarter. McCollum Christoferson Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Norfolk Southern in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $5,675,000. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Norfolk Southern in the third quarter valued at approximately $296,000. Finally, Carroll Financial Associates Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 29.2% in the fourth quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 5,134 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $743,000 after purchasing an additional 1,161 shares during the last quarter. 72.93% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Norfolk Southern (NYSE NSC) traded up $1.94 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $142.25. The company had a trading volume of 1,646,031 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,873,043. Norfolk Southern has a 12 month low of $109.27 and a 12 month high of $157.15. The firm has a market cap of $40,050.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.58, a P/E/G ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 1.29. The company has a quick ratio of 0.76, a current ratio of 0.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, January 24th. The railroad operator reported $1.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.56 by $0.13. Norfolk Southern had a return on equity of 14.16% and a net margin of 51.22%. The company had revenue of $2.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.66 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.42 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Norfolk Southern will post 8.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, March 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.72 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 1st. This represents a $2.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.02%. This is an increase from Norfolk Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.44%.

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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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