Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) is expected to report Q3 earnings on Oct. 23. Here's what Wall Street wants to see:

The 10-second takeaway
Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict Norfolk Southern's revenues will wither -5.9% and EPS will drop -22.6%.

The average estimate for revenue is $2.72 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.23.

Revenue details
Last quarter, Norfolk Southern logged revenue of $2.87 billion. GAAP reported sales were 0.3% higher than the prior-year quarter's $2.87 billion.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
Last quarter, EPS came in at $1.60. GAAP EPS of $1.60 for Q2 were 2.6% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.56 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Recent performance
For the preceding quarter, gross margin was 40.5%, 250 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 32.5%, 200 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 18.2%, 120 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead

The full year's average estimate for revenue is $11.16 billion. The average EPS estimate is $5.41.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,148 members out of 1,183 rating the stock outperform, and 35 members rating it underperform. Among 309 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 300 give Norfolk Southern a green thumbs-up, and nine 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 $84.64.

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