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Norfolk Southern Beats Analyst Estimates on EPS

Wednesday - 4/24/2013, 2:00am  ET

Norfolk Southern reported earnings on April 23. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Norfolk Southern met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue dropped slightly. Non-GAAP earnings per share dropped. GAAP earnings per share grew.

Gross margins shrank, operating margins dropped, net margins expanded.

Revenue details
Norfolk Southern logged revenue of $2.74 billion. The 21 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ looked for revenue of $2.77 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were the same as the prior-year quarter's.

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

EPS details
EPS came in at $1.22. The 27 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $1.17 per share. Non-GAAP EPS of $1.22 for Q1 were 0.8% lower than the prior-year quarter's $1.23 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.41 for Q1 were 15% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.23 per share.

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

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 33.5%, 120 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 25.2%, 150 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 16.4%, 170 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $2.88 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.51.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $11.34 billion. The average EPS estimate is $5.57.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,229 members out of 1,259 rating the stock outperform, and 30 members rating it underperform. Among 341 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 337 give Norfolk Southern a green thumbs-up, and four 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 $77.46.

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This article was originally published as Norfolk Southern Beats Analyst Estimates on EPSon Fool.com

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