Norfolk Southern Corporation Earnings: Profit Rises by Double-Figures for Fifth Consecutive Quarter

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE:NSC) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the third quarter. Norfolk Southern is engaged in rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods.

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Norfolk Southern Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Third Quarter

Results: Net income for the railroad company rose to $554 million ($1.59 per share) vs. $445 million ($1.19 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 24.5% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 17.6% to $2.89 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: NSC beat the mean analyst estimate of $1.42 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $2.86 billion.

Quoting Management: “Norfolk Southern produced another outstanding quarter, setting all-time records for income from operations and earnings per share, while also establishing third-quarter records for net income and operating ratio,” said Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman. “We continue to see modest improvement in most of our business groups, and we remain focused on the long-term enhancement of our franchise.”

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past five quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 17.1%, with the biggest boost coming in the third quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 19% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the second quarter, net income rose 42.1% and in the first quarter, the figure rose 26.5%.

The company has now beaten estimates the last two quarters. In the second quarter, it topped expectations with net income of $1.38 versus a mean estimate of net income of $1.29 per share.

Looking Forward: Expectations for the company’s next quarter performance are higher than they were ninety days ago. Over the past three months, the average estimate for the fourth quarter has risen to $1.32 per share from $1.28. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved up from $4.91 a share to $5.11 over the last ninety days.

Competitors to Watch: CSX Corporation (NYSE:CSX), Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU), Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP), Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC (BNI), Providence & Worcester Railroad Co. (NASDAQ:PWX), Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI), Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (NYSE:CP), Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (NYSE:GWR), Pioneer Railcorp (PRRR), and RailAmerica, Inc. (NYSE:RA).

Investing Insights: Here’s Why Chipotle’s Stock Keeps Winning.

(Source: Xignite Financials)