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Norfolk Southern (NSC) to Benefit From CSR Buyout: Here's How

Norfolk Southern Corporation's NSC operating subsidiary, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, has inked a deal to purchase all the assets of Cincinnati Southern Railway (CSR) for nearly $1.62 billion in cash. NSC plans to fund the deal through a combination of internal and external sources. Subject to certain conditions, which include approval by the voters of Cincinnati and the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, the deal is anticipated to be completed in the first half of 2024.

CSR is almost a 337-mile railroad, which runs from Cincinnati, OH to Chattanooga, TN. Currently, CSR is owned by the City of Cincinnati and operated by Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Norfolk Southern Railway (per a lease agreement which is expiring in 2026).

Alan H. Shaw, president and chief executive officer at Norfolk Southern, stated, "This agreement sets the framework for Norfolk Southern to own a core line in our network in perpetuity, allowing us to advance our strategic objectives of improving service, enhancing productivity, and creating an even stronger platform for accelerated growth, all while eliminating uncertainty around future control of the line and lease costs."

Considering that CSR is a link between the Midwest and the Southeast, the latest deal is expected to further strengthen Norfolk Southern’s network, which already serves more than 50% of the U.S. population.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Norfolk Southern currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks from the broader Zacks Transportation sector are Air Transport Services Group ATSG, Ryder Systems R and Teekay Tankers Ltd. (TNK), each currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

ATSG has an expected earnings growth rate of 34.34% for the current year. ATSG delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 17.78%, on average.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ATSG’s current-year earnings has improved 5.2% over the past 90 days.

Ryder has an expected earnings growth rate of 67.12% for the current year. R delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 30.13%, on average.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for R’s current-year earnings has improved 6.9% over the past 90 days. Shares of R have gained 7.2% over the past year.

Teekay Tankers has an expected earnings growth rate of 214.91% for the current year. TNK delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 42.23%, on average. Teekay Tankers has a long-term expected growth rate of 3%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for TNK’s current-year earnings has improved 95% over the past 90 days. Shares of TNK have soared 182.5% over the past year.

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Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Ryder System, Inc. (R) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Air Transport Services Group, Inc (ATSG) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Teekay Tankers Ltd. (TNK) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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