Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) was the target of a significant decrease in short interest in November. As of November 29th, there was short interest totalling 1,690,000 shares, a decrease of 18.4% from the November 14th total of 2,070,000 shares. Currently, 3.7% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 301,800 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 5.6 days.
Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Heartland Express by 2.7% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,608,391 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $83,274,000 after purchasing an additional 120,968 shares during the last quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Heartland Express by 8.4% during the third quarter. GW&K Investment Management LLC now owns 1,172,527 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $25,221,000 after buying an additional 90,768 shares in the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Heartland Express by 793.5% in the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 810,479 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $14,645,000 after buying an additional 719,774 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of Heartland Express by 0.8% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 680,575 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $12,298,000 after buying an additional 5,271 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in shares of Heartland Express by 5.0% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 650,193 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $11,748,000 after buying an additional 31,034 shares during the last quarter. 55.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Several analysts recently commented on HTLD shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 4th. UBS Group upped their price objective on shares of Heartland Express from $20.00 to $23.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, October 11th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, December 6th. Seaport Global Securities raised shares of Heartland Express from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 target price for the company in a research note on Thursday, September 5th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on shares of Heartland Express from $15.00 to $16.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Monday, October 7th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Heartland Express presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $20.86.
Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 30th. The transportation company reported $0.25 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.25. The firm had revenue of $147.91 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $147.02 million. Heartland Express had a return on equity of 12.84% and a net margin of 14.33%. The firm’s revenue was down 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.23 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Heartland Express will post 1 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 20th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 10th will be given a $0.02 dividend. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.38%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 9th. Heartland Express’s dividend payout ratio is 9.09%.
About Heartland Express
Heartland Express, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a short-to-medium haul truckload carrier in the United States and Canada. The company primarily provides nationwide asset-based dry van truckload service for shippers from Washington to Florida and New England to California; and temperature-controlled truckload services.
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