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Norfolk Southern trades higher as earnings spur upgrades

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.

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"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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