New Lifetime High Today: Norfolk Southern (NSC)

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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Norfolk Southern ( NSC) as a new lifetime high candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Norfolk Southern as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • NSC has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $133.2 million.
  • NSC has traded 1,510 shares today.
  • NSC is trading at a new lifetime high.

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More details on NSC:

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. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 2.1%. NSC has a PE ratio of 17.3. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Norfolk Southern a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Norfolk Southern has been 1.6 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Norfolk Southern has a market cap of $31.1 billion and is part of the services sector and transportation industry. The stock has a beta of 1.22 and a short float of 1.9% with 4.96 days to cover. Shares are up 9.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant 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.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, NSC's share price has jumped by 32.85%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, NSC should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORP's earnings per share declined by 17.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORP increased its bottom line by earning $6.04 versus $5.37 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.27 versus $6.04).
  • NSC, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 9.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • NSC's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.14 is sturdy.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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