Shares of Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) have earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the ten brokerages that are covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, four have given a hold recommendation and one has given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year target price among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $23.60.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on HTLD. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 16th. UBS boosted their price target on shares of Heartland Express from $22.00 to $23.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and set a $24.00 price target on shares of Heartland Express in a research note on Sunday, September 17th. Barclays dropped their price target on shares of Heartland Express from $21.00 to $20.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “b” rating to a “c” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th.

In related news, EVP John P. Cosaert sold 7,146 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.54, for a total transaction of $161,070.84. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 57,668 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,299,836.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Insiders own 42.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. American Century Companies Inc. increased its stake in Heartland Express by 6.5% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 10,103,973 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $210,365,000 after purchasing an additional 620,252 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Heartland Express by 1.0% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,182,897 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $87,089,000 after purchasing an additional 41,514 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Heartland Express by 1.8% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,538,181 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $63,652,000 after purchasing an additional 45,022 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC bought a new stake in Heartland Express in the second quarter valued at approximately $41,847,000. Finally, Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK increased its stake in Heartland Express by 7.3% in the second quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK now owns 1,944,636 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $40,488,000 after purchasing an additional 132,157 shares in the last quarter. 61.64% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ HTLD) opened at $22.95 on Friday. Heartland Express has a 12 month low of $18.71 and a 12 month high of $25.22. The firm has a market cap of $1,882.64, a PE ratio of 37.67, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.77 and a beta of 0.55.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last announced its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The transportation company reported $0.09 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.17 by ($0.08). The company had revenue of $182.10 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $205.81 million. Heartland Express had a return on equity of 9.50% and a net margin of 8.54%. The company’s revenue was up 22.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.15 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Heartland Express will post 0.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 22nd. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 12th will be paid a dividend of $0.02 per share. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.35%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 11th. Heartland Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 13.33%.

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About Heartland Express

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD)

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