Patten Group Inc. Trims Holdings in Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC)

Patten Group Inc. trimmed its stake in Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) by 5.9% in the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 7,125 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after selling 450 shares during the quarter. Patten Group Inc.’s holdings in Norfolk Southern were worth $1,332,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its holdings in Norfolk Southern by 14,153.5% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 22,774,792 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $152,000 after purchasing an additional 22,615,008 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc grew its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 1.6% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 21,159,132 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $3,819,223,000 after buying an additional 336,725 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 0.9% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,052,895 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $2,998,712,000 after buying an additional 169,821 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 3.5% during the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 12,864,410 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $2,404,230,000 after buying an additional 430,110 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Norfolk Southern by 27.7% during the first quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 7,333,967 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,370,644,000 after buying an additional 1,592,303 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.84% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on NSC. Bank of America upgraded shares of Norfolk Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $205.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, April 1st. Argus lifted their price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern to $210.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a report on Monday, April 8th. TD Securities lifted their price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern from $210.00 to $225.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Barclays lifted their price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern from $200.00 to $210.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern from $185.00 to $210.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Norfolk Southern currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $203.11.

Shares of NSC traded up $0.49 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $199.46. 504,019 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,560,865. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 0.67 and a quick ratio of 0.59. Norfolk Southern Corp. has a 52 week low of $138.65 and a 52 week high of $211.46. The firm has a market capitalization of $54.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.97, a PEG ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 1.38.

Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.51 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.17 by $0.34. Norfolk Southern had a net margin of 24.10% and a return on equity of 17.80%. The company had revenue of $2.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.82 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.93 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Norfolk Southern Corp. will post 10.89 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 3rd were given a $0.86 dividend. This represents a $3.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.72%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 2nd. Norfolk Southern’s dividend payout ratio is 36.17%.

In other Norfolk Southern news, COO Michael Joseph Wheeler sold 2,500 shares of Norfolk Southern stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $204.57, for a total value of $511,425.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 12,919 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,642,839.83. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman James A. Squires sold 3,024 shares of Norfolk Southern stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $204.71, for a total transaction of $619,043.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.19% of the company’s stock.

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Norfolk Southern Profile

Norfolk Southern Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods. The company transports industrial products, including chemicals, agriculture, and metals and construction materials; and coal, automobiles, and automotive parts.

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

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