5-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 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
IndustryRailroads
Trailing-12-Month Revenue$11.3 billion
ManagementCEO 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
Dividend Yield2.6%
CompetitorsCanadian National Railway
CSX
Union Pacific

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.

A couple of months ago, one of those bulls, CoreAndExplore, touched on the tailwinds working in Norfolk Southern's favor:

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!  

If you want market-topping 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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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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