Why Norfolk Southern Will Keep Chugging

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 and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Norfolk Southern facts

Headquarters (founded)

Norfolk, Va. (1883)

Market Cap

$19.8 billion

Industry

Railroads

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$11.2 billion

Management

Chairman/CEO Charles Moorman
CFO John Rathbone

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)

16.3%

Cash / Debt

$708.0 million / $8.6 billion

Dividend Yield

3.2%

Competitors

Canadian National Railway (NYSE: CNI  ) CSX (NYSE: CSX  ) Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP  )

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 97% of the 1,236 members who have rated Norfolk Southern believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Just last week, one of those Fools, All-Star JPresbrown, succinctly summed up the Norfolk Southern bull case for our community:

Good, solid long-term performer selling at bargain prices. Railroads, even ones that move a lot of coal, are a crucial part of our economic structure. Here you get a 3%+ yield with a dozen years of annual increases at low valuations (P/E=11 and PE/Growth ratio is less than 1).

If you want market-thumping returns, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Owning exceptional stocks is a surefire way to secure your financial future. Of course, despite its five-star rating, Norfolk Southern may not be your top choice.

If that's the case, we've compiled a special free report for investors called "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need," which uncovers a few other juicy income opportunities. The report is 100% free, but it won't be around forever, so click here to access it now.

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