Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD)‘s stock had its “underweight” rating reaffirmed by investment analysts at Morgan Stanley in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, StockTargetPrices.com reports.

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. UBS AG upgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $20.00 to $22.00 in a research note on Monday. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $23.00 price objective (up from $19.00) on shares of Heartland Express in a research note on Monday. TheStreet lowered shares of Heartland Express from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note 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. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, one has issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Heartland Express currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $16.58.

Shares of Heartland Express (HTLD) opened at 21.26 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.77 billion, a PE ratio of 31.59 and a beta of 0.51. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $20.03 and a 200 day moving average price of $20.19. Heartland Express has a 52 week low of $17.06 and a 52 week high of $22.69.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, April 21st. The transportation company reported $0.17 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates 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 during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $147.17 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.17 EPS. Heartland Express’s revenue was down 20.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Heartland Express will post $0.70 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 23rd were issued a $0.02 dividend. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.38%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 21st. Heartland Express’s payout ratio is 11.76%.

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A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Heartland Express by 52.7% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 8,505 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $171,000 after buying an additional 2,935 shares during the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan increased its position in shares of 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 valued at $198,000 after buying an additional 160 shares during the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Heartland Express by 7.0% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 10,128 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $203,000 after buying an additional 664 shares during the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its position in shares of Heartland Express by 16.7% in the first quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 13,891 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $277,000 after buying an additional 1,984 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oxford Asset Management purchased a new position in shares of Heartland Express during the first quarter valued at approximately $348,000. 60.17% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Heartland Express Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD)

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