Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, railroad operator Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC ) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.
With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Norfolk Southern's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.
Norfolk Southern facts
|Headquarters (founded)||Norfolk, Va. (1883)|
|Market Cap||$23.5 billion|
|Trailing-12-Month Revenue||$11.3 billion|
|Management||CEO Charles Moorman IV (since 2005)
CFO James Squires (since 2007)
|Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)||15.1%|
|Cash/Debt||$831.0 million/$8.2 billion|
|Competitors||Canadian National Railway
Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.
On CAPS, 97% of the 1,176 members who have rated Norfolk Southern believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.
Warren Buffett didn't make his largest acquisition in [Burlington Northern] for nothing -- he knows that prudently managed railroads with efficient operations are an economic dynamo under the right circumstances. Well, the circumstances are right and only getting better with oil climbing (long-term folks) and growing companies continuing to expand their footprints across regional boundaries. Moving freight on rail is so much cheaper and more efficient than trucking it's silly. Throw in the fact that [Norfolk Southern] is the dominant player in the Southeast, where economic growth will be the fastest of any region in the U.S. in the next couple of decades, and you have a winner among winners. All aboard!
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