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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
February 25, 2013
10:01 EDTNSCNorfolk Southern to discontinue certain railcar sorting operations in Roanoke
Norfolk Southern announced that it will cease regional railcar classification operations at its Roanoke Terminal hump yard in Roanoke, Va., beginning today. This will mean the elimination of about 140 positions. The Terminal will continue to provide service to local customers, and to be a hub for through-train operations. The Roanoke hump operation has seen a steady decline in the volume of general merchandise cars handled by about 30% since 2006. At the same time, system-wide improvements in the railroad's operations have freed up network capacity such that classification operations now performed at Roanoke are no longer necessary. System-wide, Norfolk Southern anticipates hiring between 850 and 1,150 employees in 2013 to keep up with attrition. These positions will first be offered to employees affected by the Roanoke change and employees furloughed at other locations.
News For NSC From The Last 14 Days
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April 14, 2015
16:53 EDTNSCOn The Fly: Top stock stories for Tuesday
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed for the day, beginning the session in positive territory helped by better than expected earnings reports from JPMorgan (JPM), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and Wells Fargo (WFC). The early economic data was slightly below Wall Street expectations and became a headwind for the market. By the end of the first hour of trading the market had turned negative, and it spent the remainder of the day trading in mixed fashion. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail purchases for March advanced 0.9%, bouncing up from a 0.5% decline in February. However, economists had predicted a 1.1% growth after improvements on last month's weather. The producer price index grew 0.2% for March, in line with consensus estimates. Core PPI grew 0.2% versus expectations of 0.1% growth. The International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook Report trimmed U.S. growth forecast to 3.1% from its previous outlook of 3.6%, while global forecast was left unchanged at 3.5%. COMPANY NEWS: Avon (AVP) surged 66c, or 8.24%, to $8.67 following a Wall Street Journal report that the company is exploring strategic alternatives, including potentially selling its North American business, though a Bloomberg report later in the day claimed the company is not conducting a formal sale process... Nokia (NOK) confirmed it is in "advanced discussions" to buy French telecom firm Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), prompting French President Francois Hollande to schedule meetings with leaders from both companies. Later in the day, the French government announced it supports the potential deal, with French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron stating Nokia reassured officials by detailing "clear undertakings." Nokia fell 34c, or 4.1%, to $7.96 at the close, while Alcatel jumped 58c, or 13.33%, to $4.93. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was 58.com (WUBA), which rallied 33.52%, or $17.04, to $67.87 after the Financial Times reported the company has signed a memorandum of understanding to merge with rival classifieds service Ganji.com. Also higher was PartnerRe (PRE), which advanced 8.49% to $129.25 after EXOR proposed to acquire the company for $130.00 per share in cash, valuing PartnerRe at $6.4B. Following earnings, JPMorgan (JPM) advanced 1.56% to $63.04 after beating expectations, while Wells Fargo (WFC) fell 0.73% and Johnson & Johnson fell 0.03% after reducing its FY15 earnings guidance. Among the noteworthy losers was Arrowhead Research (ARWR), which tumbled 7.75% after Jefferies downgraded the stock to Hold and lowered its price target to $9 from $30. The firm said that while ARC-520 offers the potential for a Hepatitis B virus functional cure, it prefers to wait for multi-dosing data. Also lower was Norfolk Southern (NSC), which dropped 4.18% to $100.49 and was downgraded to Hold at TD Securities following first quarter guidance that fell below expectations. INDEXES: The Dow rose 59.66, or 0.33%, to 18,036.70, the Nasdaq lost 10.96, or 0.22%%, to 4,977.29, and the S&P 500 advanced 3.41, or 0.16%, to 2,095.84.
12:24 EDTNSCOn The Fly: Top stock stories at midday
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed at midday despite better than expected headline earnings from JPMorgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). The market began the session in positive territory on the heels of those solid earnings reports, but the averages were unable to hold their early gains as the retail sales figures released during the pre-market trading session missed expectations. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., retail purchases grew 0.9% in March, rebounding from a 0.5% decline in February. However, economists were expecting a more pronounced 1.1% advance in recovery from the prior month's weather driven weakness. The producer price index rose 0.2% in March, matching expectations. The core PPI, which excludes food and energy, grew 0.2% as well, versus expectations for it to have risen 0.1%. Business Inventories grew 0.3% in February, versus expectations for them to be up 0.2%. The International Monetary Fund, in its latest World Economic Outlook Report, trimmed its U.S. growth forecast to a 3.1% pace from its prior 3.6% view, but left its global forecast intact at a 3.5% rate. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of JPMorgan advanced 1.5% after its headline earnings per share topped expectations, even before accounting for 13c per share in aftertax legal expense that the bank identified as a "significant item." Conversely, fellow large bank Wells Fargo (WFC) slid 1.5% after its own report on first quarter results, despite the fact that its earnings and revenue both topped the consensus forecast... Shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) were fractionally higher at midday after its first quarter earnings and revenue beat expectations. The multinational company, however, lowered its FY15 adjusted earnings outlook, citing further negative foreign currency movements... Nokia (NOK) and Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), in response to "recent media speculation," confirmed that they are in advanced discussions with respect to a potential full combination, which would take the form of a public exchange offer by Nokia for Alcatel. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was 58.com (WUBA), which jumped 25% after Financial Times reported the company has signed a memorandum of understanding to merge with peer Ganji.com to create one of the largest specialized online classified companies in China. Also higher was PartnerRe (PRE), which advanced nearly 9% to trade near $129.50 after Europe based investment company EXOR announced that it submitted a written proposal to acquire 100% of the common shares of the company for $130.00 per share in cash, valuing PartnerRe at $6.4B. EXOR said its all-cash proposal represents a 16% premium to the implied value per share of $112.53 for PartnerRe under the merger deal it has in place with AXIS Capital (AXS). Among the noteworthy losers was Arrowhead Research (ARWR), which tumbled over 6% after Jefferies downgraded the stock to Hold and cut its price target for shares to $9 from $30 after assuming coverage of the stock. The firm said that while ARC-520 offers the potential for a Hepatitis B virus functional cure, it prefers to wait for multi-dosing data. Also lower was Norfolk Southern (NSC), which fell nearly 6% and was downgraded to Hold from Buy at TD Securities after the railroad operator provided first quarter guidance that came in below analysts' consensus estimates. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was up 53.15, or 0.3%, to 18,030.19, the Nasdaq was down 16.19, or 0.32%, to 4,972.06, and the S&P 500 was up 2.20, or 0.11%, to 2,094.63.
10:01 EDTNSCOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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09:23 EDTNSCNorfolk Southern falls on profit warning, levels to watch
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09:13 EDTNSCOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers.
UP AFTER EARNINGS: JPMorgan Chase (JPM), up 1%... Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), up marginally... Triangle Petroleum (TPLM), up 4.2%... Fastenal (FAST), up 5%. ALSO HIGHER: Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics (BCLI), up 13.5% after announcing that it will present NurOwn Phase 2a clinical data at the Academy of Neurology annual meeting... Builders FirstSource (BLDR), up 7.2% after being upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel... Solazyme (SZYM), up 7.5% after announcing a strategic agreement with Flotek (FTK)... Cleveland BioLabs (CBLI), up 6.8% after receiving funding recommendation from the Department of Defense... Nordic American Tanker (NAT), up 3.2% after raising quarterly dividend to 38c from 22c... Ocwen (OCN), up 3.8% after reporting preliminary fiscal 2014 results. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Wells Fargo (WFC), down just under 1%. ALSO LOWER: Norfolk Southern (NSC), down 5.8% after being downgraded to Hold from Buy at TD Securities... RXi Pharmaceuticals (RXII), down 14.3% after filing to sell $20M of common stock and warrants... Arrowhead Research (ARWR), down 4.5% after being downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.
07:36 EDTNSCNorfolk Southern downgraded to Hold from Buy at TD Securities
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April 13, 2015
19:18 EDTNSCOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
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17:03 EDTNSCRailroad operators under pressure after Norfolk Southern guidance
Shares of railroad operators are active after Norfolk Southern (NSC) provided first quarter guidance that came in below analysts' consensus estimates. The company provided Q1 EPS guidance of $1.00, below analysts' estimates of $1.27, on revenue of $2.6B, also below analysts' estimates of $2.69B. Norfolk Southern said revenue decreases reflect reductions in fuel surcharge revenue in each of NS' three commodity groups, continued reductions in coal volumes, and a lower average revenue per unit related to the mix of business. Lower overall expenses were aided by declining fuel expense but hurt by weather and service recovery costs. PEERS: Publicly traded companies in the railroad space include CSX (CSX), Canadian National (CNI), Canadian Pacific (CP), Genesee & Wyoming (GWR), Kansas City Southern (KSU), and Union Pacific (UNP). PRICE ACTION: Norfolk Southern is down 3.9%, CSX is down 2.2%, Canadian National is lower by 0.6% and Union Pacific is lower by 1.8% in after-hours trading.
16:24 EDTNSCNorfolk Southern down over 4% after reporting Q1 guidance
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16:21 EDTNSCNorfolk Southern sees volumes returning in Q2, with exception of coal
Norfolk Southern noted, "Following the weather related challenges of the first quarter, volumes are expected to rebound in the second quarter, with the exception of coal, which will continue to be pressured given current market dynamics. In the current energy environment, revenues for the year are expected to be less than revenues for 2014, and the Company continues to focus on improving core pricing as service levels improve. The Company's continuing actions to restore service levels should result in gradual improvement during the second quarter and a return to normalized levels during the third and fourth quarters of the year. Second quarter expenses will continue to reflect service recovery costs, currently estimated at $25M, which is commensurate with the second quarter of 2014. As new employees and additional locomotives are deployed and new infrastructure projects become fully operational during the second quarter, the Company will be well-positioned to capitalize on market opportunities and unwind excess service-related costs." "Our goal remains the same: to operate an efficient, high velocity railroad, which enables us to offer the best possible customer service and retain and grow our business at rates that provide a superior return for our owners," said CEO Wick Moorman. "I am confident in our ability to reach high performance levels this year. With operations showing sustained improvements, and with better weather and enhanced infrastructure and personnel, we look forward to stronger results in the second quarter and the second half of the year."
16:18 EDTNSCNorfolk Southern sees Q1 reductions in fuel surcharge revenue
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16:17 EDTNSCNorfolk Southern sees Q1 EPS $1.00, consensus $1.27
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April 7, 2015
13:08 EDTNSCNTSB: Oil train cars should be replaced more quickly, Washington Post says
The National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, yesterday said that oil train cars should be replaced more quickly than the current planned timetable of ten years, according to The Washington Post. "We canít wait a decade for safer rail cars,Ē the newspaper quoted the agency's chairman as saying in a statement. Publicly traded railroad operators include CSX (CSX), Canadian National (CNI), Canadian Pacific (CP), Genesee & Wyoming (GWR), Kansas City Southern (KSU), Norfolk Southern (NSC) and Union Pacific (UNP). Publicly traded railroad car makers include Greenbrier (GBX), FreightCar America (RAIL), and American Railcar Industries (ARII). Reference Link
06:14 EDTNSCOil train shipments stalled due to safety concerns and crude prices, WSJ reports
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April 6, 2015
15:42 EDTNSCCrude-by-rail shipments slow, WSJ says
Shipments of crude by rail have slowed amid lower prices for the commodity in recent months with oil-train traffic declining 1% in the fourth quarter of 2014, says the Wall Street Journal. A rash of derailments of trains carrying crude recently also impacted rail traffic this year, added the Wall Street Journal. Publicly traded companies in the space include CSX (CSX), Canadian National (CNI), Canadian Pacific (CP), Genesee & Wyoming (GWR), Kansas City Southern (KSU), Norfolk Southern (NSC) and Union Pacific (UNP). Reference Link

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