Mackay Shields LLC boosted its holdings in Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) by 31.1% in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 69,557 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after acquiring an additional 16,514 shares during the period. Mackay Shields LLC’s holdings in Norfolk Southern were worth $10,402,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other large investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Resources Management Corp CT ADV purchased a new position in Norfolk Southern in the 3rd quarter worth about $733,000. Curbstone Financial Management Corp raised its position in Norfolk Southern by 16.1% in the 4th quarter. Curbstone Financial Management Corp now owns 3,250 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $490,000 after buying an additional 450 shares during the last quarter. Virtu Financial LLC raised its position in Norfolk Southern by 57.6% in the 3rd quarter. Virtu Financial LLC now owns 10,153 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,832,000 after buying an additional 3,712 shares during the last quarter. Arlington Partners LLC purchased a new position in Norfolk Southern in the 4th quarter worth about $37,000. Finally, Fosun International Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Norfolk Southern during the 4th quarter valued at about $238,000. 73.37% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In related news, VP Jason Andrew Zampi sold 519 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $181.34, for a total value of $94,115.46. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 4,761 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $180.23, for a total transaction of $858,075.03. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 19,724 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,554,856.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

Norfolk Southern stock opened at $179.52 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $47.97 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.88, a PEG ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.43. Norfolk Southern Corp. has a 12-month low of $127.79 and a 12-month high of $186.91. The company has a quick ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 0.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.30 by $0.27. The company had revenue of $2.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.85 billion. Norfolk Southern had a net margin of 23.27% and a return on equity of 16.71%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.69 EPS. Analysts forecast that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post 10.44 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 11th. Investors of record on Monday, February 4th were issued a $0.86 dividend. This represents a $3.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.92%. This is a positive change from Norfolk Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 1st. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 36.17%.

NSC has been the subject of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Norfolk Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $191.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, November 21st. Loop Capital set a $188.00 price target on shares of Norfolk Southern and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, November 26th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Norfolk Southern from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price target for the company from $198.00 to $203.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 18th. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Thursday, January 3rd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reduced their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern from $187.00 to $175.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, January 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Norfolk Southern currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $185.37.

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Norfolk Southern Company Profile

Norfolk Southern Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods. It also transports overseas freight through various Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports, as well as coal, automotive, and industrial products; and provides commuter passenger services.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC)

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