Baird Financial Group Inc. lowered its holdings in Norfolk Southern Co. (NYSE:NSC – Get Rating) by 1.5% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 162,322 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after selling 2,391 shares during the period. Baird Financial Group Inc.’s holdings in Norfolk Southern were worth $34,030,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Schechter Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Norfolk Southern by 14.6% in the third quarter. Schechter Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,714 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $360,000 after purchasing an additional 219 shares during the period. Amundi increased its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 8.5% during the 2nd quarter. Amundi now owns 669,979 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $148,535,000 after acquiring an additional 52,481 shares during the period. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. increased its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 36.4% during the 3rd quarter. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. now owns 9,368 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,964,000 after acquiring an additional 2,499 shares during the period. Founders Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 11.9% during the 3rd quarter. Founders Capital Management LLC now owns 2,247 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $471,000 after acquiring an additional 239 shares during the period. Finally, International Assets Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 8.5% during the 3rd quarter. International Assets Investment Management LLC now owns 1,152 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $242,000 after acquiring an additional 90 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 72.98% of the company’s stock.
Wall Street Analyst Weigh In
A number of analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Citigroup upped their target price on shares of Norfolk Southern from $225.00 to $250.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 29th. Barclays upped their target price on shares of Norfolk Southern from $240.00 to $255.00 in a report on Monday, December 5th. Wolfe Research raised shares of Norfolk Southern from a “peer perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $255.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, February 21st. Royal Bank of Canada decreased their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern from $253.00 to $244.00 in a report on Thursday, January 26th. Finally, Benchmark decreased their price target on shares of Norfolk Southern from $280.00 to $270.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, January 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat.com, the company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $250.17.
Norfolk Southern Price Performance
Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC – Get Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 25th. The railroad operator reported $3.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.41 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $3.24 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.20 billion. Norfolk Southern had a net margin of 25.66% and a return on equity of 24.98%. The firm’s revenue was up 13.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $3.12 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Norfolk Southern Co. will post 13.66 EPS for the current year.
Norfolk Southern Increases Dividend
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, February 21st. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 3rd were given a dividend of $1.35 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 2nd. This represents a $5.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.60%. This is a boost from Norfolk Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.24. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.85%.
Norfolk Southern Company Profile
Norfolk Southern Corp. is a transportation company, which engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods. The company also transports overseas freight through several Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports. Its services include property leases and sales, wire line or pipeline and fiber optics projects, access property, managing private crossings, promoting businesses with signboards, and natural resource management.
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