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Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC): Today's Featured Transportation Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Norfolk Southern ( NSC) pushed the Transportation industry lower today making it today's featured Transportation laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Norfolk Southern fell $0.95 (-1.0%) to $93.58 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,341,336 shares of Norfolk Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,152,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $93.45-$94.67 after having opened the day at $94.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $94.53. Other companies within the Transportation industry that declined today were: Newlead Holdings ( NEWL), down 21.7%, American Railcar Industries ( ARII), down 14.2%, YRC Worldwide ( YRCW), down 6.6% and Radiant Logistics ( RLGT), down 4.8%.

Norfolk Southern Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in the rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods. As of December 31, 2013, it operated approximately 20,000 miles of road in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Norfolk Southern has a market cap of $29.3 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Norfolk Southern a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Norfolk Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings ( AAWW), up 13.1%, Republic Airways Holdings ( RJET), up 10.0%, Eagle Bulk Shipping ( EGLE), up 9.6% and Box Ships ( TEU), up 6.3% , were all gainers within the transportation industry with Kirby ( KEX) being today's featured transportation industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the transportation industry could consider iShares Dow Jones Transportation ( IYT) while those bearish on the transportation industry could consider ProShares UltraShort Industrials ( SIJ).

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