Wednesday, June 06, 2012

NS marks 30 years on the NYSE

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
NS marks 30 years on the NYSE William C. Vantuono (all photos)

On June 2, 1982, newly formed Norfolk Southern Corp., a merger of the Norfolk & Western Railway and the Southern Railway, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Present were NS Chairman and CEO Robert B. Claytor (previously president of the N&W) and NS President and Chief Operating Officer Harold H. Hall (previously president of the Southern).

On June 5, 2012, NS Chairman, President and CEO Wick Moorman rang The Closing Bell® on the New York Stock Exchange in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the listing of the corporation’s securities. Accompanied by NS employees and officers, Moorman rang the bell at 4 p.m. to signal the official end of the trading day.

The bell-ringing tradition traces its history to the 1870s, and today, “participation is considered a high honor in American business,” Moorman said. “The bell ceremony calls attention to more than just 30 years. It brings to mind the heritage of our predecessor railroads that began in the 1820s, and it encourages us all—investors, railroaders, and customers—to look forward to the best days of our industries and our country.”

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Representing Norfolk Southern’s 30,000 employees as Moorman rang the bell at the podium (technically, he pushed a button that rang several bells) were Meri Wilson, electrician in the mechanical department at St. Louis; Isaac James Irby, trackman in the engineering department at Island Ave., Pa.; Monk Wilkerson, engineer in the transportation department at Danville, Ky; Deborah Butler, EVP planning and chief information officer; Jim Hixon, EVP law and corporate relations; John Rathbone, EVP administration; Don Seale, EVP and chief marketing officer; Jim Squires, EVP finance and chief financial officer; and Marta Stewart, VP and treasurer.

NS3Norfolk Southern stock first began trading on June 2, 1982, under the symbol “NSC,” one day after the effective date of the consolidation of the Southern and the N&W. During a ceremony in New York that day, Bob Claytor and Harold Hall presented NYSE President John J. Phelan, Jr. a golden spike that had been used in national advertising announcing NS’ formation. Thirty years later, NYSE COO Larry Leibowitz presented Wick Moorman with a commemorative 30th anniversary medallion and certificate.

Prior to ringing NYSE closing bell, Moorman was interviewed by CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo. Nightly Business Report also interviewed him. Moorman said the overall volume of cargo and intermodal indicates positive economic signs despite a weak coal business. “Coal is such an important part of our business that it obviously gets a lot of focus, but I do tend to think that today people are probably looking a little too hard at coal and not seeing all of the other good things that are going on,” Moorman said. CLICK HERE TO VIEW MOORMAN’S CNBC INTERVIEW.

NS2MedallionAt the end of 2011, 330.4 million shares of NS stock were owned by individual and institutional investors. NSC stock closed on June 5 at $63.67.