ValuEngine cut shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an underweight rating and set a $75.00 price objective (down from $77.00) on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research report on Monday. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $124.00 price objective on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a sell rating and set a $117.00 price objective on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, August 29th. UBS AG reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $133.00 price objective on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Norfolk Souther Corporation from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $112.56.

Shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) traded up 0.47% during trading on Monday, hitting $131.11. 807,508 shares of the company were exchanged. Norfolk Souther Corporation has a 1-year low of $89.95 and a 1-year high of $133.81. The stock has a market capitalization of $37.78 billion, a PE ratio of 21.30 and a beta of 1.38. The company has a 50 day moving average of $125.02 and a 200-day moving average of $119.28.

Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The railroad operator reported $1.71 EPS for the quarter, beating 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 company had revenue of $2.64 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.64 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.36 earnings per share. Norfolk Souther Corporation’s revenue was up 7.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Norfolk Souther Corporation will post $6.33 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 11th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 7th were given a dividend of $0.61 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 3rd. This represents a $2.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.87%. Norfolk Souther Corporation’s payout ratio is currently 39.61%.

Norfolk Souther Corporation announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, September 26th that allows the company to buyback 50,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the railroad operator to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Chairman James A. Squires sold 24,407 shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.95, for a total transaction of $2,927,619.65. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 76,481 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,173,895.95. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 2,370 shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation 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 sale, the chief operating officer now directly 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 three months. 0.36% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. D Orazio & Associates Inc. raised its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 0.5% during the 1st quarter. D Orazio & Associates Inc. now owns 891 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $100,000 after purchasing an additional 4 shares during the period. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY raised its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY now owns 1,099 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $134,000 after purchasing an additional 5 shares during the period. Lee Danner & Bass Inc. raised its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. Lee Danner & Bass Inc. now owns 2,292 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $257,000 after purchasing an additional 7 shares during the period. Alexandria Capital LLC raised its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC now owns 1,865 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $227,000 after purchasing an additional 7 shares during the period. Finally, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America raised its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 0.7% during the 1st quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,126 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $126,000 after purchasing an additional 8 shares during the period. 70.60% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC)

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