Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI) (TSE:CNR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Canadian National Railway Company's fourth-quarter results should benefit from volume growth at its key units like Overseas Intermodal, Frac sand, Coal and Petroleum coke exports, and Canadian grain. Rail freight revenues should also rise substantially in the quarter. Results will be available on Jan 23. The company's efforts to reward shareholders through dividend payments and share buybacks are also impressive. However, high fuel costs might hurt the company's fourth-quarter results as well, as was the case in the previous quarter. Deterioration in operating ratio is also a matter of concern. Declining revenues at the forest products, and grain and fertilizers segment might hurt the top line going forward. Shares of the company have underperformed its industry in the last three months.”

Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on CNI. Royal Bank of Canada reissued an outperform rating on shares of Canadian National Railway in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. TD Securities upgraded shares of Canadian National Railway from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, November 30th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Stifel Nicolaus restated a hold rating and issued a $89.00 target price on shares of Canadian National Railway in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Cowen restated a buy rating and issued a $83.00 target price on shares of Canadian National Railway in a research note on Sunday, September 24th. Finally, CIBC upgraded shares of Canadian National Railway from a neutral rating to a sector outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $79.67.

Shares of Canadian National Railway (CNI) traded up $0.22 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $81.18. 1,792,138 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,146,344. The stock has a market capitalization of $60,740.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 1.09. The company has a current ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58. Canadian National Railway has a 12 month low of $68.27 and a 12 month high of $85.73.

Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI) (TSE:CNR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The transportation company reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by ($0.01). Canadian National Railway had a net margin of 29.98% and a return on equity of 25.57%. analysts anticipate that Canadian National Railway will post 3.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 8th were paid a $0.3304 dividend. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.63%. This is an increase from Canadian National Railway’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.33. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 7th. Canadian National Railway’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 31.87%.

Canadian National Railway announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, October 24th that permits the company to repurchase 31,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the transportation company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Hall Laurie J Trustee lifted its stake in shares of Canadian National Railway by 4.1% during the second quarter. Hall Laurie J Trustee now owns 1,275 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $103,000 after buying an additional 50 shares during the period. Sowell Financial Services LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Canadian National Railway during the third quarter worth $200,000. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH acquired a new stake in shares of Canadian National Railway during the second quarter worth $203,000. Security National Bank of SO Dak acquired a new stake in shares of Canadian National Railway during the third quarter worth $203,000. Finally, CAPROCK Group Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Canadian National Railway during the third quarter worth $216,000. Institutional investors own 53.73% of the company’s stock.

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Canadian National Railway Company Profile

Canadian National Railway Company is engaged in the rail and related transportation business. The Company’s network of approximately 20,000 route miles of track spans Canada and mid-America, connecting approximately three coasts, including the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico and serving the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert (British Columbia), Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile (Alabama), and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth (Minnesota)/Superior (Wisconsin), and Jackson (Mississippi), with connections to all points in North America.

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