Werner Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:WERN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Werner Enterprises, Inc. is a transportation company primarily engaged in hauling truckload shipments of general commodities in both interstate and intrastate commerce. The Company operates throughout the 48 contiguous states pursuant to operating authority, both common and contract, granted by the Department of Transportation and pursuant to intrastate authority granted by various states. They also have authority to operate in the ten provinces of Canada and have through trailer service in and out of Mexico. “

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on WERN. TheStreet raised Werner Enterprises from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research note on Monday. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $28.00 price target (up from $27.00) on shares of Werner Enterprises in a research note on Monday, March 6th. Barclays PLC dropped their price target on Werner Enterprises from $30.00 to $25.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, March 27th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $25.00 price target (down from $31.00) on shares of Werner Enterprises in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. Finally, Vertical Research assumed coverage on Werner Enterprises in a research note on Thursday, April 13th. They set a “sell” rating and a $24.00 price target on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Werner Enterprises presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $25.25.

Analyst Recommendations for Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ:WERN)

Shares of Werner Enterprises (WERN) opened at 28.45 on Thursday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $27.44 and its 200-day moving average price is $27.20. The firm has a market cap of $2.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.62 and a beta of 0.86. Werner Enterprises has a 52-week low of $21.35 and a 52-week high of $30.20.

Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ:WERN) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 20th. The transportation company reported $0.22 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.20 by $0.02. Werner Enterprises had a return on equity of 7.61% and a net margin of 3.70%. The business had revenue of $501.22 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $491.97 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.28 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Werner Enterprises will post $1.14 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 18th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 5th will be paid a $0.07 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, June 30th. This is an increase from Werner Enterprises’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.06. This represents a $0.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.98%. Werner Enterprises’s dividend payout ratio is 23.30%.

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In other news, VP Jim S. Schelble sold 7,494 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.50, for a total value of $221,073.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 55,300 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,631,350. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 34.80% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Werner Enterprises by 7.0% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 5,256,834 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $137,729,000 after buying an additional 342,947 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Werner Enterprises by 17,543.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,617,064 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $120,967,000 after buying an additional 4,590,896 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Werner Enterprises by 7.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,644,333 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $95,481,000 after buying an additional 242,284 shares during the period. Balyasny Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Werner Enterprises by 76.0% in the fourth quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC now owns 2,423,560 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $56,687,000 after buying an additional 1,046,737 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in shares of Werner Enterprises by 6.0% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 2,337,824 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $54,401,000 after buying an additional 132,003 shares during the period. 66.75% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Werner Enterprises

Werner Enterprises, Inc is a transportation and logistics company. The Company is engaged in transporting truckload shipments of general commodities in both interstate and intrastate commerce. It operates through two segments: Truckload and Werner Logistics. It provides logistics services through its Werner Logistics division.

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