Analysts Take: Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) Projected Earnings & Price Targets

In a turbulent environment, investors are inclined to put in some extra work to stay on top of the latest market happenings. Analysts and investors are typically highly focused on company earnings numbers when they are published. Company earnings are a good way to analyze the profitability of the company. Sell-side analysts are currently looking for Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) to post quarterly EPS of $1.36. The company’s next earnings report is expected to be released on or around 2017-01-25 for the period ending on 2016-12-31. The company posted EPS of $1.2 for the same quarter last year. Most recently, the company reported EPS of $1.55. Prior to the last earnings report, Zacks Research had a consensus estimate looking for EPS of $1.45. The gap between the estimate and actual number was $0.1 which created a surprise factor of 6.9%. The surprise factor can cause substantial stock fluctuations after the earnings release. 

Company earnings results have the capability of triggering near-term stock movements whether results hit or miss expectations. Prior to earnings, investors may be tracking directional trends of provided estimates. The company reported actual earnings per share for the previous quarter of $1.55. The Zacks Research consensus estimate before the earnings report was $1.45. The difference between the estimate and actual was $0.1 which created a surprise factor of 6.9%.

13 analysts polled by Zacks Research currently have a mean target price of $99.384 on shares. The analyst with the highest target price sees the stock hitting $126 and the lowest target estimate sees the stock touching $64 within the year. In looking at the standard deviation of all estimates, we arrive at 18.531. Zacks Research also uses an analyst ratings scale that ranges from 1 to 5. Using this scale, a 1 would represent a Strong Buy, and a 5 rating would indicate a Strong Sell rating. Using all the ratings on Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC), the mean sits at 2.32. Breaking those down we see that the ratings are as follows: 8 Strong Buy, 1 Rated Buy, 9 Rated Hold and 0 Rated Sell.

Analyst recommendations and estimates are for informational purposes only and should be used along with a number of other factors when considering an investment position. Part of the data in this report is derived from Zacks Research and FactSet.  Ratings and estimates change daily and thus the numbers may differ slightly if a new report has been issued within the last 24-hours.  The consensus numbers take into account the reports from over 160 brokerage firms.  The job of analysts is to issue recommendations for their clients, and not typically for the general public.  Analyst forecasts, earnings estimates and price target projections are issued to help their clients make money through stock investments.  We in no way are suggesting that readers make any decision on Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) based on the information in this report. 

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