Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) – Stock analysts at KeyCorp boosted their FY2018 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Heartland Express in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. KeyCorp analyst T. Fowler now anticipates that the transportation company will post earnings per share of $0.85 for the year, up from their prior estimate of $0.80.

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. TheStreet raised Heartland Express from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Thursday, September 7th. Zacks Investment Research raised Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $24.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday, July 21st. BidaskClub lowered Heartland Express from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Stifel Nicolaus raised Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $22.00 to $28.00 in a report on Friday, September 29th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and set a $24.00 price objective on shares of Heartland Express in a report on Sunday, September 17th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $23.67.

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Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The transportation company reported $0.18 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.19 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $129.62 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $139.89 million. Heartland Express had a net margin of 9.89% and a return on equity of 10.60%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 19.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.20 earnings per share.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 22nd were issued 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 presently 12.12%.

In other news, EVP John P. Cosaert sold 7,146 shares of Heartland Express stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.54, for a total transaction of $161,070.84. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 57,668 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,299,836.72. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 42.10% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in HTLD. Dean Capital Management lifted its position in shares of Heartland Express by 137.7% during the 2nd quarter. Dean Capital Management now owns 215,880 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $4,495,000 after buying an additional 125,060 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its position in shares of Heartland Express by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 38,365 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $799,000 after buying an additional 1,704 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC bought a new position in shares of Heartland Express during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $41,847,000. Royal Bank of Canada lifted its position in shares of Heartland Express by 3.8% during the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 27,697 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $577,000 after buying an additional 1,006 shares during the period. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Heartland Express by 47.7% during the 2nd quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 395,467 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $8,233,000 after buying an additional 127,657 shares during the period. 60.91% of the stock is currently owned by 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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD)

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