Norfolk Southern Co. (NYSE:NSC) Increases Dividend to $1.35 Per Share

Norfolk Southern Co. (NYSE:NSCGet Rating) declared a quarterly dividend on Tuesday, January 24th, RTT News reports. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 3rd will be given a dividend of 1.35 per share by the railroad operator on Tuesday, February 21st. This represents a $5.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.11%. This is a positive change from Norfolk Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.24.

Norfolk Southern has raised its dividend by an average of 11.3% per year over the last three years and has increased its dividend every year for the last 2 years. Norfolk Southern has a payout ratio of 32.8% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities research analysts expect Norfolk Southern to earn $13.97 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $4.96 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 35.5%.

Norfolk Southern Stock Performance

NYSE:NSC opened at $255.88 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11, a current ratio of 0.97 and a quick ratio of 0.87. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $250.62 and a two-hundred day moving average of $240.87. The stock has a market cap of $59.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.81, a PEG ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 1.32. Norfolk Southern has a 1-year low of $203.65 and a 1-year high of $291.55.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSCGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 26th. The railroad operator reported $4.10 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.64 by $0.46. Norfolk Southern had a return on equity of 24.32% and a net margin of 26.21%. The firm had revenue of $3.34 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.22 billion. On average, research analysts expect that Norfolk Southern will post 13.83 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other Norfolk Southern news, Director James A. Squires sold 21,272 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $245.76, for a total transaction of $5,227,806.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,001 shares in the company, valued at $246,005.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. In other Norfolk Southern news, CEO Alan H. Shaw sold 2,000 shares of Norfolk Southern stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $258.35, for a total value of $516,700.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 30,158 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,791,319.30. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director James A. Squires sold 21,272 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $245.76, for a total value of $5,227,806.72. Following the sale, the director now owns 1,001 shares in the company, valued at approximately $246,005.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.31% of the company’s stock.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Norfolk Southern

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Worth Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Norfolk Southern in the first quarter valued at approximately $30,000. Fairfield Bush & CO. acquired a new stake in Norfolk Southern in the first quarter worth about $81,000. Covestor Ltd raised its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 28.8% during the 1st quarter. Covestor Ltd now owns 322 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $92,000 after purchasing an additional 72 shares during the last quarter. Axiom Financial Strategies LLC boosted its stake in shares of Norfolk Southern by 9.2% in the 1st quarter. Axiom Financial Strategies LLC now owns 852 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $220,000 after purchasing an additional 72 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Edgestream Partners L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of Norfolk Southern during the 1st quarter worth approximately $229,000. 72.98% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Robert W. Baird cut shares of Norfolk Southern from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $280.00 to $240.00 in a research note on Friday, October 7th. Barclays raised their price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern from $240.00 to $255.00 in a research report on Monday, December 5th. Stifel Nicolaus decreased their target price on Norfolk Southern from $275.00 to $271.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 17th. The Goldman Sachs Group decreased their target price on Norfolk Southern from $286.00 to $255.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, October 10th. Finally, TD Securities cut Norfolk Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $247.43.

About Norfolk Southern

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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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Dividend History for Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC)

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