Canadian National Railway (CNI) Lifted to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI) (TSE:CNR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Canadian National Railway Company's fourth-quarter results should benefit from volume growth at its key units like Overseas Intermodal, Frac sand, Coal and Petroleum coke exports, and Canadian grain. Rail freight revenues should also rise substantially in the quarter. Results will be available on Jan 23. The company's efforts to reward shareholders through dividend payments and share buybacks are also impressive. However, high fuel costs might hurt the company's fourth-quarter results as well, as was the case in the previous quarter. Deterioration in operating ratio is also a matter of concern. Declining revenues at the forest products, and grain and fertilizers segment might hurt the top line going forward. Shares of the company have underperformed its industry in the last three months.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. TD Securities raised shares of Canadian National Railway from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, November 30th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of Canadian National Railway in a research report on Monday, November 13th. They set a buy rating and a $85.00 price target on the stock. Desjardins raised shares of Canadian National Railway from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Cowen reissued a buy rating and issued a $83.00 target price on shares of Canadian National Railway in a report on Sunday, September 24th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reissued a hold rating and issued a $89.00 target price on shares of Canadian National Railway in a report on Friday, October 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $79.67.

Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI) opened at $80.43 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a current ratio of 0.61. Canadian National Railway has a 12-month low of $68.27 and a 12-month high of $85.73. The company has a market cap of $60,568.39, a PE ratio of 20.62, a PEG ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 1.09.

Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI) (TSE:CNR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The transportation company reported $1.05 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.06 by ($0.01). Canadian National Railway had a return on equity of 25.57% and a net margin of 29.98%. research analysts forecast that Canadian National Railway will post 3.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Canadian National Railway declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Tuesday, October 24th that allows the company to repurchase 31,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the transportation company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 8th were issued a $0.3304 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 7th. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.64%. This is a boost from Canadian National Railway’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.33. Canadian National Railway’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 33.59%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Creative Planning lifted its holdings in Canadian National Railway by 14.9% in the fourth quarter. Creative Planning now owns 15,685 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $1,294,000 after acquiring an additional 2,038 shares during the last quarter. Atria Investments LLC raised its holdings in shares of Canadian National Railway by 15.3% during the fourth quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 5,356 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $442,000 after buying an additional 710 shares during the last quarter. Montrusco Bolton Investments Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Canadian National Railway by 2.1% during the fourth quarter. Montrusco Bolton Investments Inc. now owns 331,384 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $27,414,000 after buying an additional 6,834 shares during the last quarter. Addenda Capital Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Canadian National Railway by 16.0% during the fourth quarter. Addenda Capital Inc. now owns 604,928 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $50,041,000 after buying an additional 83,245 shares during the last quarter. Finally, CGOV Asset Management raised its holdings in shares of Canadian National Railway by 13.7% during the fourth quarter. CGOV Asset Management now owns 1,334,912 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $138,364,000 after buying an additional 161,182 shares during the last quarter. 53.73% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Canadian National Railway

Canadian National Railway Company is engaged in the rail and related transportation business. The Company’s network of approximately 20,000 route miles of track spans Canada and mid-America, connecting approximately three coasts, including the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico and serving the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert (British Columbia), Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile (Alabama), and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth (Minnesota)/Superior (Wisconsin), and Jackson (Mississippi), with connections to all points in North America.

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