Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Monday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $27.00 price objective on the transportation company’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Heartland Express, Inc. is a short-to-medium haul truckload carrier based near Iowa City, Iowa. The Company provides nationwide transportation service to major shippers, using late-model tractors and a uniform fleet of 53-foot aluminum plate dry vans. “
Several other research firms also recently issued reports on HTLD. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $26.00 price objective on shares of Heartland Express in a report on Friday, October 6th. Stifel Nicolaus raised Heartland Express from a hold rating to a buy rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $22.00 to $28.00 in a report on Friday, September 29th. TheStreet raised Heartland Express from a c+ rating to a b rating in a report on Thursday, September 7th. UBS AG raised Heartland Express from a sell rating to a neutral rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $20.00 to $22.00 in a report on Monday, July 10th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Heartland Express from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $23.67.
Shares of Heartland Express (NASDAQ HTLD) traded down 1.01% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $23.47. The company had a trading volume of 42,442 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $22.96 and its 200-day moving average is $21.03. The firm has a market cap of $1.96 billion, a PE ratio of 36.11 and a beta of 0.55. Heartland Express has a 12-month low of $17.06 and a 12-month high of $25.22.
Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The transportation company reported $0.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.19 by ($0.01). Heartland Express had a return on equity of 10.60% and a net margin of 9.89%. The firm had revenue of $129.62 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $139.89 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.20 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 19.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Heartland Express will post $0.69 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 22nd were given a dividend of $0.02 per share. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.34%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 21st. Heartland Express’s payout ratio is 12.12%.
In other Heartland Express news, EVP John P. Cosaert sold 7,146 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.54, for a total transaction of $161,070.84. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 57,668 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,299,836.72. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 42.10% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of HTLD. Dean Capital Management increased its position in shares of Heartland Express by 137.7% in the 2nd quarter. Dean Capital Management now owns 215,880 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $4,495,000 after buying an additional 125,060 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its position in shares of Heartland Express by 4.6% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 38,365 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $799,000 after buying an additional 1,704 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC bought a new stake in shares of Heartland Express in the 2nd quarter valued at $41,847,000. Royal Bank of Canada increased its position in shares of Heartland Express by 3.8% in the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 27,697 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $577,000 after buying an additional 1,006 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Heartland Express by 47.7% in the 2nd quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 395,467 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $8,233,000 after buying an additional 127,657 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 60.91% of the company’s stock.
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.
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