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Coal revenue has declined over the recent past to $1.7 billion in 2019, and it is estimated to decline to $1.5 billion in 2020. The decline in coal revenues can be attributed to favorable natural gas prices, resulting in lower demand for coal as a source of energy. As such, the shipments and pricing for railroad companies have been impacted, and this trend is expected to continue in the near term. Merchandise revenue has been on a rise, and we expect this trend to continue in 2020, led by growth in the overall U.S. economy, and industrial production. Intermodal revenue in 2019 was impacted by the increased trucking capacity in the U.S. and a tough comparison from 2018, where the trucking industry faced capacity constraints. Going forward, Intermodal segment should show steady growth. Look at our interactive dashboard Norfolk Southern Revenues for more details in the company's revenue and performance.
#2. Net Income increased from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $2.7 billion in 2019
A sharp rise in 2017 was driven by one-time tax benefits due to the TCJ Act. We expect net income to grow slightly to $2.8 billion in 2020
Net Income = A x B
Total Revenue (A)
Net Income Margin (B)
Norfolk Southern's net income grew from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $2.7 billion in 2019.This can be attributed to higher revenues and elevated margins.Net income margin increased from 16.9% in 2016 to 51.2% in 2017. This was followed by a drop to 23.3% in 2018 and rise to 24.1% in 2019.We discuss the factors that impacted the margin in the section below.
#2.2 EPS has risen steadily over the years from $5.64 in 2016 to $10.25 in 2019
The EPS spiked to $18.62 in 2017 due to the impact the TCJ Act as highlighted above. We expect the EPS figure to further increase to $11.10 in 2020
EPS A ÷ B x 1000
Net Income (A)
Shares Outstanding (B)
#3. Price-To-Earnings (P/E) multiple for Norfolk Southern has fluctuated over the recent years
The current P/E is also higher than that for CSX Corporation but lower than Union Pacific's. The decline in 2017 can again be attributed to higher GAAP EPS reported due to the tax adjustments.
NSC P/E Multiple
UNP P/E Multiple
CSX P/E Multiple
Our Complete Set Of Analyses On Norfolk Southern