The Heartland Express Inc. (HTLD) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

The Heartland Express Inc. (HTLD) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Heartland Express Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning.

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 equities research analysts have also issued reports on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their target price on Heartland Express from $16.00 to $18.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. CL King reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of Heartland Express in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. BB&T Corp. lowered Heartland Express from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Wedbush reaffirmed a neutral rating and set a $12.00 target price (down from $17.00) on shares of Heartland Express in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Heartland Express in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. 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 company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $17.00.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) opened at 18.22 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $18.96 and a 200 day moving average price of $18.31. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.65 and a beta of 0.25. Heartland Express has a 1-year low of $15.36 and a 1-year high of $21.95.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.20. The company had revenue of $160.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $167.94 million. Heartland Express had a return on equity of 13.14% and a net margin of 9.24%. Heartland Express’s revenue for the quarter was down 16.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.27 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Heartland Express will post $0.71 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared 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. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, September 21st. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.44%. Heartland Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 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 stock was sold at an average price of $19.85, for a total transaction of $79,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 64,814 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,286,557.90. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 45.30% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Teacher Retirement System of Texas increased its stake in 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. Profund Advisors LLC increased its stake in Heartland Express by 1.8% in the second quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 13,194 shares of the company’s stock valued at $229,000 after buying an additional 232 shares during the period. PineBridge Investments L.P. increased its stake in 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. Arizona State Retirement System increased its stake in Heartland Express by 1.3% in the second quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 30,667 shares of the company’s stock valued at $533,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the period. Finally, Ngam Advisors L.P. increased its stake in Heartland Express by 6.7% in the second quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. now owns 15,972 shares of the company’s stock valued at $278,000 after buying an additional 1,004 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 61.06% of the company’s stock.

Heartland Express Company Profile

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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