Norfolk Southern ( NSC), along with CSX ( CSX) and Union Pacific ( UNP), is one of the three largest publicly traded commercial railroad companies in the U.S. since Burlington Northern was acquired by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B). Railroads are increasingly important in the shipment of raw materials and finished goods within our nation and to the coasts for transportation to our many shipping partners, especially in Latin America, Europe and the Far East. Recently, Norfolk Southern reported third-quarter earnings of $1.59, which was better than consensus estimates of $1.41. This resulted in upward full-year EPS consensus revision of 19 cents for the company from 26 analysts. CSX and Union Pacific did not fare as well as Norfolk Southern when it came to third-quarter earnings performance and upward revisions. For the fourth quarter, analysts expect Norfolk Southern to earn $1.38. which is 5 cents greater than it was a month ago. Norfolk Southern is one of TheStreet Ratings' top-rated railroad stocks.