4-Star Stocks Poised to Pop: Norfolk Southern

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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 (NYS: NSC) has earned a respected four-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$22.4 billion
IndustryRailroads
Trailing-12-Month Revenue$11.2 billion
ManagementCEO Charles Moorman IV (since 2005)
CFO James Squires (since 2007)
Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)14.4%
Cash/Debt$301.0 million / $7.7 billion
Dividend Yield2.8%
Competitors

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

On CAPS, 97% of the 1,166 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 JaysRage, highlighted the tailwinds working in the stock's favor:

I think railroads are extremely under-valued right now, and they are positioned to do extremely well in the current economic environment. With gas prices under extreme pressure, railroads provide an excellent cost-competitive logistical option for shipping. In addition, railroads are a key part of the global logistical marketplace. International manufacturers are more frequently using the rail to get their products from coastal ports inland as part of their logistical networks. Any sort of real global economic recovery (we're not there yet), and the rail networks would have some real nice pop in profitability. ...

This is a nice solid core holding for a long-term portfolio, and it's a great buy right now, for most portfolio types. 

Of course, despite its strong four-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 "3 American Companies Set to Dominate the World," which uncovers a few other U.S. plays with big potential. The report is 100% free, but it won't be around forever, so click here to access it now.

Want to see how well (or not so well) the stocks in this series are performing? Follow the newTrackPoisedToCAPS account.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Canadian National Railway. 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 Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.

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