Gotham Asset Management LLC Purchases 213,939 Shares of Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD)

Gotham Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) by 145.5% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 361,024 shares of the transportation company’s stock after buying an additional 213,939 shares during the period. Gotham Asset Management LLC owned approximately 0.43% of Heartland Express worth $7,239,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Fortaleza Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Heartland Express during the fourth quarter worth approximately $154,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in Heartland Express by 52.7% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 8,505 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $171,000 after buying an additional 2,935 shares during the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan boosted its stake in Heartland Express by 1.6% in the first quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 9,890 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $198,000 after buying an additional 160 shares during the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Heartland Express by 7.0% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 10,128 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $203,000 after buying an additional 664 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Suntrust Banks Inc. boosted its stake in Heartland Express by 16.7% in the first quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 13,891 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $277,000 after buying an additional 1,984 shares during the last quarter. 60.20% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) opened at 21.51 on Wednesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $20.03 and its 200 day moving average is $20.19. Heartland Express, Inc. has a 12-month low of $17.06 and a 12-month high of $22.69. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.79 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.96 and a beta of 0.51.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, April 21st. The transportation company reported $0.17 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.15 by $0.02. Heartland Express had a net margin of 9.66% and a return on equity of 11.20%. The business had revenue of $129.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $147.17 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.17 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 20.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Heartland Express, Inc. will post $0.68 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 23rd were paid a dividend of $0.02 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, June 21st. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.37%. Heartland Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 11.76%.

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A number of equities research analysts recently commented on HTLD shares. TheStreet cut shares of Heartland Express from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 11th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, July 1st. Morgan Stanley restated an “underweight” rating on shares of Heartland Express in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus restated a “hold” rating and set a $23.00 price target (up previously from $19.00) on shares of Heartland Express in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Heartland Express currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $16.58.

About Heartland Express

Heartland Express, Inc is a holding company. The Company is a short-to-medium haul truckload carrier. The Company focuses primarily on short- to medium-haul, asset-based dry van truckload services in regional markets near its terminals. The Company’s truckload services are primarily asset-based transportation services in the dry van truckload market, and it also offers truckload temperature-controlled transportation services and non-asset based brokerage services.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD)

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