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Norfolk Southern trades higher as earnings spur upgrades

A boy enjoys his turn on a trampoline
Sebastian Willnow | AFP | Getty Images

Norfolk Southern's stock bounced on Friday after the company's better-than-expected earnings impressed analysts.

Shares of the rail carrier closed up more than 10.5 percent, over $91 a share, after the transport company posted first-quarter earnings of $1.29 per share on revenues of $2.42 billion Thursday. That was higher than the 97 cents per share on $2.4 billion predicted by Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

A slew of research analysts boosted their price targets on the company after the earnings beat, including Susquehanna, UBS Nomura, RBC, Cowen and Barclays, according to Reuters.

"We have increased confidence in the management team's ability to wring costs out of the network," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a note obtained by Reuters.

Norfolk is in the midst of a cost-slashing plan, on track to achieve productivity savings of about $200 million in 2016 and more than $650 million by 2020, the CEO said in the earnings release.

Over the past year, it has consolidated 500 jobs and closed a Virginia office. The company fought off a takeover from rival Canadian Pacific earlier this month.

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