FIL Ltd Buys 184,698 Shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC)

FIL Ltd lifted its position in Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) by 16.9% in the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 1,275,249 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after purchasing an additional 184,698 shares during the quarter. FIL Ltd owned about 0.48% of Norfolk Southern worth $238,331,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its stake in shares of Norfolk Southern by 14,153.5% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 22,774,792 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $152,000 after purchasing an additional 22,615,008 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc raised its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 1.6% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 21,159,132 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $3,819,223,000 after acquiring an additional 336,725 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,052,895 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $2,998,712,000 after acquiring an additional 169,821 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 3.5% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 12,864,410 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $2,404,230,000 after acquiring an additional 430,110 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 7.1% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,364,851 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $502,245,000 after acquiring an additional 221,780 shares in the last quarter. 72.49% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other news, Chairman James A. Squires sold 3,024 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $204.71, for a total transaction of $619,043.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $204.57, for a total value of $511,425.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 12,919 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,642,839.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.19% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

NSC has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Argus raised their price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern from $210.00 to $220.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 7th. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on shares of Norfolk Southern from $133.00 to $138.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, April 29th. Cowen restated an “outperform” rating and set a $230.00 target price (up from $200.00) on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Wednesday, April 24th. TD Securities boosted their target price on shares of Norfolk Southern from $210.00 to $225.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on shares of Norfolk Southern from $185.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $203.11.

Shares of NYSE:NSC traded up $5.93 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $199.33. 2,468,207 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,612,709. The company has a market capitalization of $51.96 billion, a PE ratio of 20.96, a P/E/G ratio of 1.51 and a beta of 1.38. The company has a current ratio of 0.67, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. Norfolk Southern Corp. has a twelve month low of $138.65 and a twelve month high of $211.46. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $198.75.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.51 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.17 by $0.34. Norfolk Southern had a return on equity of 17.80% and a net margin of 24.10%. The business had revenue of $2.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.82 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.93 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post 10.86 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 3rd were paid a $0.86 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 2nd. This represents a $3.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.73%. Norfolk Southern’s payout ratio is 36.17%.

About Norfolk Southern

Norfolk Southern Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods. The company transports industrial products, including chemicals, agriculture, and metals and construction materials; and coal, automobiles, and automotive parts.

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

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