Evercore ISI upgraded Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE:NSC) to an Outperform rating on Wednesday after having the rails stock set at In-Line.
Analyst Jonathan Chappell and team think the worst is nearly over for Norfolk Southern (NSC) and called the valuation gap versus peers too wide. NSC is noted to have underperformed other U.S. rails by more than 1100 basis points, the S&P 500 Index by more than 2000 basis points, and every other transport stock under the firm’s coverage.
Chappell reiterated that the headlines and political scrutiny for Norfolk Southern (NSC) over the derailment of hazardous train cars in East Palestine, Ohio have been intense. The impact on volumes and costs has also been material and weighed on Q1 results. However, he thinks the selling pressure on NSC may be overdone given the opportunity ahead.
“Though the volume impact is likely to remain for a few more weeks, by the start of 3Q23 there should be a purer read of operations at the rail, and that also holds true for the cost side. NSC is continuing to support the community, and yes, there are many lawsuits still outstanding, but when operations resume and many one-time costs (and insurance adjustments) are in the rearview mirror, there is a large top- and bottom-line reversion opportunity for NSC.”
Evercore ISI assigned a price target on Norfolk Southern of $242.
Shares of Norfolk Southern (NSC) rose 1.85% in the premarket session on Wednesday to land at $216.40. The rails stock is down more than 13% on a year-to-date basis.