Zacks: Analysts Anticipate Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) Will Post Earnings of $2.41 Per Share

Wall Street analysts expect Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) to announce earnings per share (EPS) of $2.41 for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Three analysts have issued estimates for Norfolk Southern’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $2.31 and the highest estimate coming in at $2.55. Norfolk Southern reported earnings per share of $2.51 during the same quarter last year, which suggests a negative year-over-year growth rate of 4%. The business is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 22nd.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Norfolk Southern will report full-year earnings of $11.16 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $11.00 to $11.45. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the firm will report earnings of $12.44 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $11.91 to $12.70. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow Norfolk Southern.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 29th. The railroad operator reported $2.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.28 by $0.27. Norfolk Southern had a return on equity of 18.04% and a net margin of 24.10%. The business had revenue of $2.69 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.70 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $2.57 earnings per share. Norfolk Southern’s quarterly revenue was down 7.1% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several analysts recently issued reports on NSC shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Norfolk Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $162.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, December 3rd. Stephens raised their target price on Norfolk Southern from $220.00 to $240.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, January 30th. Robert W. Baird raised their target price on Norfolk Southern from $197.00 to $230.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, January 30th. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on Norfolk Southern from $127.00 to $134.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday, January 30th. Finally, Cowen restated a “buy” rating and set a $215.00 target price on shares of Norfolk Southern in a report on Wednesday, October 23rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $215.05.

Shares of NYSE:NSC traded down $1.14 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $209.35. 696,327 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,628,504. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a current ratio of 0.90. Norfolk Southern has a 52-week low of $166.57 and a 52-week high of $219.88. The business’s fifty day simple moving average is $203.89 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $188.61. The company has a market capitalization of $54.37 billion, a PE ratio of 20.42, a P/E/G ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 1.34.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.94 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 6th. This represents a $3.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.80%. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 36.36%.

In other news, EVP Ann A. Adams sold 1,336 shares of Norfolk Southern stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $208.16, for a total value of $278,101.76. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 6,950 shares in the company, valued at $1,446,712. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 11,000 shares of Norfolk Southern stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $212.84, for a total value of $2,341,240.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 27,035 shares in the company, valued at $5,754,129.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 14,724 shares of company stock worth $3,125,979. Corporate insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Point72 Asset Management L.P. bought a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern in the fourth quarter worth about $32,581,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Norfolk Southern by 12.5% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,604 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,282,000 after purchasing an additional 732 shares during the period. Captrust Financial Advisors increased its stake in shares of Norfolk Southern by 216.4% in the fourth quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 92,756 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $18,254,000 after purchasing an additional 63,436 shares during the period. Orion Portfolio Solutions LLC bought a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern in the fourth quarter worth about $122,000. Finally, Keebeck Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern in the fourth quarter worth about $1,471,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.90% of the company’s stock.

Norfolk Southern Company Profile

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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