Marten Transport Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRTN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Marten Transport, Ltd. is a long-haul truckload carrier providing protective service and time- sensitive transportation. Protective service transportation means temperature controlled or insulated carriage of temperature-sensitive materials and general commodities. “

Separately, Avondale Partners downgraded shares of Marten Transport from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $22.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Friday, July 22nd.

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Shares of Marten Transport (NASDAQ:MRTN) opened at 21.48 on Wednesday. Marten Transport has a one year low of $14.62 and a one year high of $22.27. The company has a 50-day moving average of $21.62 and a 200 day moving average of $19.91. The firm has a market cap of $697.65 million, a PE ratio of 21.06 and a beta of 1.01.

Marten Transport (NASDAQ:MRTN) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 19th. The company reported $0.26 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.01. Marten Transport had a net margin of 5.08% and a return on equity of 8.19%. The firm earned $166.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $168.17 million. On average, equities research analysts expect that Marten Transport will post $1.00 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 27th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 13th will be paid a dividend of $0.025 per share. This represents a $0.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.47%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 9th. Marten Transport’s dividend payout ratio is currently 9.80%.

In other news, insider John H. Turner sold 1,275 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.00, for a total transaction of $28,050.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman Randolph L. Marten sold 100,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.76, for a total transaction of $2,176,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 23.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MRTN. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in shares of Marten Transport by 0.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 1,503,447 shares of the company’s stock worth $28,145,000 after buying an additional 12,918 shares during the last quarter. Investment Counselors of Maryland LLC boosted its stake in shares of Marten Transport by 17.8% in the second quarter. Investment Counselors of Maryland LLC now owns 791,575 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,673,000 after buying an additional 119,470 shares during the last quarter. Henderson Group PLC boosted its stake in shares of Marten Transport by 57.6% in the second quarter. Henderson Group PLC now owns 655,377 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,976,000 after buying an additional 239,562 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Marten Transport by 4.0% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 539,309 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,097,000 after buying an additional 20,773 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Westfield Capital Management Co. LP purchased a new stake in shares of Marten Transport during the second quarter worth about $10,086,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.07% of the company’s stock.

About Marten Transport

Marten Transport, Ltd. is a national protective service transportation company. It is a temperature-sensitive truckload carrier. The Company specializes in transporting and distributing food and other consumer-packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. The Company operates through four segments: Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal and Brokerage.

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