Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Heartland Express Inc. (HTLD) to Sell
Heartland Express Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.
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. “
A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on HTLD. MKM Partners restated a “neutral” rating and set a $13.00 price target (down from $15.00) on shares of Heartland Express in a research report on Friday, August 26th. Barclays PLC boosted their price target on shares of Heartland Express from $16.00 to $17.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Wolfe Research restated a “market perform” rating and set a $13.00 price target (down from $15.00) on shares of Heartland Express in a research report on Friday, August 26th. Nomura restated a “buy” rating and set a $14.00 price target (down from $17.00) on shares of Heartland Express in a research report on Friday, August 26th. Finally, FBR & Co restated a “market perform” rating and set a $13.00 price target (down from $18.00) on shares of Heartland Express in a research report on Friday, August 26th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Heartland Express presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $17.00.
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Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) opened at 18.88 on Tuesday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $19.06 and its 200 day moving average price is $18.31. The company has a market capitalization of $1.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.55 and a beta of 0.25. Heartland Express has a 12 month low of $15.36 and a 12 month high of $21.95.
Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.20. Heartland Express had a net margin of 9.24% and a return on equity of 13.14%. The business had revenue of $160.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $167.94 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.27 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 16.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Heartland Express will post $0.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 23rd were paid a dividend of $0.02 per share. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.42%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 21st. Heartland Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 10.81%.
In other news, EVP John P. Cosaert sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.85, for a total transaction of $79,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 64,814 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,286,557.90. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 45.30% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of HTLD. Teacher Retirement System of Texas increased its position in shares of Heartland Express by 1.7% in the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 6,409 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 109 shares during the period. Invictus RG purchased a new position in shares of Heartland Express during the first quarter valued at approximately $116,000. PineBridge Investments L.P. increased its position in shares of Heartland Express by 5.5% in the second quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. now owns 7,494 shares of the company’s stock valued at $131,000 after buying an additional 390 shares during the period. GSA Capital Partners LLP purchased a new position in shares of Heartland Express during the second quarter valued at approximately $184,000. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Heartland Express during the second quarter valued at approximately $201,000. 61.06% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About Heartland Express
Heartland Express, Inc (Heartland) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of Heartland Express Inc of Iowa, Gordon Trucking, Inc, Heartland Express Services, Inc, Heartland Express Maintenance Services, Inc and A & M Express, Inc It provides transportation services to shippers spanning from Washington to Florida and New England to California, as well as parts of Canada.
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