Norfolk Southern Co. (NYSE:NSC) Expected to Post Quarterly Sales of $2.81 Billion

Equities research analysts predict that Norfolk Southern Co. (NYSE:NSCGet Rating) will report sales of $2.81 billion for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Five analysts have made estimates for Norfolk Southern’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $2.84 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $2.75 billion. Norfolk Southern reported sales of $2.64 billion during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 6.4%. The firm is expected to announce its next earnings report before the market opens on Monday, January 1st.

On average, analysts expect that Norfolk Southern will report full year sales of $12.15 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $11.87 billion to $12.36 billion. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the business will post sales of $12.55 billion, with estimates ranging from $12.26 billion to $12.90 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that cover Norfolk Southern.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSCGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 26th. The railroad operator reported $3.12 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.04 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $2.85 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.82 billion. Norfolk Southern had a return on equity of 21.28% and a net margin of 26.97%. Norfolk Southern’s quarterly revenue was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $2.64 EPS.

NSC has been the subject of several analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Company boosted their price objective on Norfolk Southern from $316.00 to $337.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, January 10th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern from $318.00 to $308.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, April 8th. Citigroup boosted their price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern from $310.00 to $345.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 5th. Susquehanna Bancshares lowered their target price on Norfolk Southern from $356.00 to $350.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 7th. Finally, Stephens downgraded Norfolk Southern from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $325.00 to $310.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 4th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $310.26.

In other Norfolk Southern news, President Alan H. Shaw sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $256.70, for a total value of $256,700.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Steven F. Leer sold 700 shares of Norfolk Southern stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $265.51, for a total transaction of $185,857.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 64,580 shares of company stock worth $17,379,914. Insiders own 0.31% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Arlington Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Norfolk Southern in the fourth quarter worth $27,000. Vectors Research Management LLC lifted its position in Norfolk Southern by 468.8% during the fourth quarter. Vectors Research Management LLC now owns 91 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $27,000 after purchasing an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. lifted its position in Norfolk Southern by 51.8% during the third quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 126 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $30,000 after purchasing an additional 43 shares in the last quarter. First Community Trust NA purchased a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern in the fourth quarter valued at about $30,000. Finally, Richwood Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Norfolk Southern in the fourth quarter valued at about $37,000. 72.91% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE:NSC opened at $263.06 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.77, a current ratio of 0.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97. The company has a market cap of $63.08 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.70, a PEG ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 1.38. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $269.48 and its 200-day simple moving average is $276.20. Norfolk Southern has a fifty-two week low of $238.62 and a fifty-two week high of $299.20.

Norfolk Southern announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, March 29th that allows the company to buyback $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the railroad operator to repurchase up to 14.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, February 21st. Investors of record on Friday, February 4th were given a $1.24 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 3rd. This represents a $4.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.89%. This is an increase from Norfolk Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $1.09. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 40.92%.

About Norfolk Southern (Get Rating)

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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