Norfolk Southern Co. (NYSE:NSC) Expected to Announce Earnings of $3.44 Per Share

Brokerages expect Norfolk Southern Co. (NYSE:NSCGet Rating) to post earnings per share (EPS) of $3.44 for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Five analysts have issued estimates for Norfolk Southern’s earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $3.59 and the lowest estimate coming in at $3.33. Norfolk Southern reported earnings per share of $3.28 during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 4.9%. The firm is expected to announce its next earnings report on Monday, January 1st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Norfolk Southern will report full-year earnings of $13.81 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $13.64 to $13.95. For the next year, analysts expect that the company will post earnings of $15.09 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $13.84 to $15.55. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that that provide coverage for Norfolk Southern.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSCGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, April 27th. The railroad operator reported $2.93 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.91 by $0.02. Norfolk Southern had a net margin of 26.58% and a return on equity of 21.95%. The firm had revenue of $2.92 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.83 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $2.66 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 10.5% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. decreased their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern from $318.00 to $308.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, April 8th. Susquehanna Bancshares decreased their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern from $356.00 to $350.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 7th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Norfolk Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $299.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, March 29th. TD Securities lifted their price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern from $300.00 to $305.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 28th. Finally, StockNews.com began coverage on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, Norfolk Southern has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $309.41.

Shares of NSC stock traded down $0.46 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $246.08. 75,583 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,432,314. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $266.59 and a 200 day simple moving average of $275.07. The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02. Norfolk Southern has a 52-week low of $238.62 and a 52-week high of $299.20. The stock has a market capitalization of $58.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.90, a P/E/G ratio of 1.77 and a beta of 1.36.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 6th will be paid a $1.24 dividend. This represents a $4.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.02%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 5th. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 40.03%.

Norfolk Southern announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, March 29th that allows the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the railroad operator to repurchase up to 14.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Norfolk Southern news, President Alan H. Shaw sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $256.70, for a total value of $256,700.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Steven F. Leer sold 700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $265.51, for a total transaction of $185,857.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.31% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in NSC. Meeder Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 1.8% during the third quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,863 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $685,000 after buying an additional 51 shares during the period. Mackenzie Financial Corp increased its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 32.6% during the third quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 16,000 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $3,828,000 after buying an additional 3,936 shares during the period. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 172.6% during the third quarter. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,898 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $693,000 after buying an additional 1,835 shares during the period. Ieq Capital LLC increased its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 17.7% during the third quarter. Ieq Capital LLC now owns 3,037 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $726,000 after buying an additional 456 shares during the period. Finally, Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH grew its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 5.0% in the third quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH now owns 3,158 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $756,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.63% of the company’s stock.

About Norfolk Southern (Get Rating)

Norfolk Southern Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods in the United States. The company transports agriculture, forest, and consumer products comprising soybeans, wheat, corn, fertilizers, livestock and poultry feed, food products, food oils, flour, sweeteners, ethanol, lumber and wood products, pulp board and paper products, wood fibers, wood pulp, scrap paper, beverages, canned goods, and consumer products; chemicals consist of sulfur and related chemicals, petroleum products, chlorine and bleaching compounds, plastics, rubber, industrial chemicals, chemical wastes, and sand; metals and construction materials, such as steel, aluminum products, machinery, scrap metals, cement, aggregates, minerals, clay, transportation equipment, and military-related products; and automotive, including finished motor vehicles and automotive parts, as well as coal.

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