Principal Financial Group Inc. Boosts Stake in Heartland Express, Inc. (HTLD)

Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) by 17.2% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 385,964 shares of the transportation company’s stock after purchasing an additional 56,521 shares during the quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned about 0.46% of Heartland Express worth $9,680,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Teachers Advisors LLC lifted its position in Heartland Express by 5.3% in the 1st quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 81,169 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $1,627,000 after purchasing an additional 4,066 shares during the last quarter. Cipher Capital LP bought a new stake in Heartland Express in the 2nd quarter valued at about $599,000. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC lifted its position in Heartland Express by 38.2% in the 2nd quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 166,282 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $3,462,000 after purchasing an additional 45,957 shares during the last quarter. Dean Capital Management lifted its position in Heartland Express by 137.7% in the 2nd quarter. Dean Capital Management now owns 215,880 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $4,495,000 after purchasing an additional 125,060 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC bought a new stake in Heartland Express in the 2nd quarter valued at about $41,847,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.64% of the company’s stock.

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

Several analysts recently weighed in on the stock. TheStreet downgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “b” rating to a “c” rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. UBS lifted their price objective on shares of Heartland Express from $22.00 to $23.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $22.00 to $28.00 in a research report on Friday, September 29th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $26.00 price objective on shares of Heartland Express in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $27.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 9th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. Heartland Express has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $24.17.

Shares of Heartland Express, Inc. (HTLD) opened at $22.64 on Tuesday. Heartland Express, Inc. has a 52-week low of $18.71 and a 52-week high of $25.22. The company has a market cap of $1,905.13, a PE ratio of 38.12, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.81 and a beta of 0.55.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The transportation company reported $0.09 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.17 by ($0.08). Heartland Express had a return on equity of 9.50% and a net margin of 8.54%. The company had revenue of $182.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $205.81 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.15 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 22.0% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that Heartland Express, Inc. will post 0.54 EPS for the current year.

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

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Heartland Express 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD)

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