Diamonds and Dogs
Norfolk Southern (NSC) chugging along. The Southwest railroad company is up 4% to a four month high after revising financial targets to include significant improvement in operating ratio. For full-year 2019, Norfolk Southern seeks to improve operating ratio by at least 100 basis points over 2018's 65.4%. The regional railway will target full-year operating ratio of 60% by 2021 as it boosts productivity, efficiency and sales growth. The key industry metric compares operating expense to net sales, with the lower ratio the better. Dividend payout ratio remains low at 33% and the company will continue to buy back stock thanks to strong free cash flow and borrowing capacity.
Activision Blizzard (ATVI) got hit by the Fortnite storm. The video game maker is down 7% to a new 52 week low on news they are planning significant job cuts. Activision Blizzard had 9,800 employees at the end of 2017 — the most recent figure available. The move comes amid slower sales at Activision Blizzard, home of such games as "Call of Duty," "Overwatch" and "Candy Crush." Analysts are forecasting the company's sales to decline by 2% to $7.28 billion this year. The company reports earnings tomorrow.