Goelzer Investment Management Inc. cut its position in shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) by 6.8% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 5,864 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after selling 431 shares during the quarter. Goelzer Investment Management Inc.’s holdings in Norfolk Southern were worth $850,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Capital World Investors grew its position in Norfolk Southern by 3.2% during the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 5,054,985 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $615,192,000 after buying an additional 154,985 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its stake in Norfolk Southern by 2.7% during the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,661,751 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $219,751,000 after purchasing an additional 43,131 shares during the period. Investec Asset Management LTD lifted its stake in Norfolk Southern by 6.2% during the third quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD now owns 1,615,077 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $213,578,000 after purchasing an additional 93,624 shares during the period. Commonwealth Bank of Australia lifted its stake in Norfolk Southern by 2,921.5% during the third quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 1,277,777 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $168,353,000 after purchasing an additional 1,235,488 shares during the period. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. lifted its stake in Norfolk Southern by 124.5% during the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,231,991 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $178,515,000 after purchasing an additional 683,170 shares during the period. 72.87% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) opened at $138.22 on Friday. Norfolk Southern Corp. has a one year low of $109.27 and a one year high of $157.15. The company has a quick ratio of 0.76, a current ratio of 0.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56. The stock has a market cap of $38,876.38, a P/E ratio of 7.38, a PEG ratio of 1.35 and a beta of 1.29.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 24th. The railroad operator reported $1.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.56 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $2.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.66 billion. Norfolk Southern had a net margin of 51.22% and a return on equity of 14.16%. Norfolk Southern’s quarterly revenue was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.42 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post 8.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, March 10th. Investors of record on Friday, February 2nd will be issued a $0.72 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 1st. This represents a $2.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.08%. This is a positive change from Norfolk Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.61. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 15.38%.

A number of research analysts have commented on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “sell” rating and set a $137.00 price target on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and set a $127.00 price target on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Cowen restated an “outperform” rating and set a $165.00 price target (up previously from $143.00) on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research note on Monday, November 13th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $126.00 price target for the company. Finally, Loop Capital raised their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern from $127.00 to $133.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $140.85.

In related news, Chairman James A. Squires sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.10, for a total value of $1,501,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, VP Thomas E. Hurlbut sold 6,175 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $129.61, for a total transaction of $800,341.75. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 7,568 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $980,888.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 19,012 shares of company stock valued at $2,690,734. 0.36% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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Norfolk Southern 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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC)

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