Daiwa Securities Group Inc. decreased its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) by 40.1% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 41,061 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after selling 27,539 shares during the period. Daiwa Securities Group Inc.’s holdings in Norfolk Souther Corporation were worth $5,430,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,251,999 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $2,464,667,000 after purchasing an additional 700,567 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 20,097,333 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $2,445,845,000 after purchasing an additional 631,018 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 2.2% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 12,960,797 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,451,226,000 after purchasing an additional 281,088 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 13.0% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,618,986 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $805,530,000 after purchasing an additional 762,416 shares during the period. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Norfolk Souther Corporation by 17.1% during the 2nd quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 6,343,533 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $772,007,000 after purchasing an additional 925,496 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.13% of the company’s stock.

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In related news, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 3,568 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.00, for a total value of $474,544.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 15,837 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,106,321. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman James A. Squires sold 24,407 shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $119.95, for a total transaction of $2,927,619.65. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 76,481 shares in the company, valued at $9,173,895.95. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 30,645 shares of company stock worth $3,719,075 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on NSC. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 10th. UBS AG reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $133.00 price target on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research note on Monday, August 14th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Cowen and Company reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $130.00 price target on shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Finally, Wolfe Research upgraded shares of Norfolk Souther Corporation from a “market perform” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $126.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, August 7th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. Norfolk Souther Corporation has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $127.26.

Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) traded down $0.75 during trading on Thursday, hitting $128.58. 103,815 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,534,903. Norfolk Souther Corporation has a one year low of $94.09 and a one year high of $134.52. The firm has a market cap of $37,041.96, a PE ratio of 20.35, a P/E/G ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 1.37. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a current ratio of 0.83 and a quick ratio of 0.73.

Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The railroad operator reported $1.75 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.64 by $0.11. Norfolk Souther Corporation had a net margin of 17.86% and a return on equity of 14.72%. The company had revenue of $2.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.65 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.55 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts predict that Norfolk Souther Corporation will post 6.46 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 11th. Investors of record on Friday, November 3rd will be given a $0.61 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 2nd. This represents a $2.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.90%. Norfolk Souther Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.36%.

Norfolk Souther Corporation declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, September 26th that allows the company to buyback 50,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the railroad operator to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

Norfolk Souther Corporation Company Profile

Norfolk Southern Corporation is a holding company engaged in the rail transportation business. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated approximately 19,500 miles of road primarily in the East and Midwest. The Company is engaged in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products and finished goods primarily in the Southeast, East and Midwest.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC)

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