The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Norfolk Southern beat slightly on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased and GAAP earnings per share increased significantly.
Margins grew across the board.
Norfolk Southern reported revenue of $2.79 billion. The 19 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ looked for net sales of $2.75 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 6.5% higher than the prior-year quarter's $2.62 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
EPS came in at $1.23. The 22 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $1.14 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.23 for Q1 were 37% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.90 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 34.7%, 370 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 26.7%, 380 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 14.7%, 230 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $2.97 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.53.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $11.72 billion. The average EPS estimate is $5.79.
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,140 members out of 1,170 rating the stock outperform, and 30 members rating it underperform. Among 323 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 317 give Norfolk Southern a green thumbs-up, and six give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Norfolk Southern is outperform, with an average price target of $83.27.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.