Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Heartland Express, Inc. is a leader in transportation and logistics. Heartland Express provides collaborative truckload transportation service that enables companies to deliver exceptional service across their transportation network to improve customer satisfaction. The company provides truckload transportation service to virtually all markets east of the Rocky Mountains at any length of haul. Heartland Express transports a variety of goods, including automotive parts, consumer goods, paper and plastic products, retail goods, and packaged foodstuffs. The company serves the truckload transportation needs of the top shippers in America. Heartland operates in the United States and is headquartered in North Liberty, IA. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of Heartland Express from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, February 25th. Stephens set a $22.00 price objective on shares of Heartland Express and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Monday, April 22nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and six have given a hold rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $19.17.

Shares of NASDAQ HTLD opened at $17.38 on Friday. Heartland Express has a 1 year low of $17.00 and a 1 year high of $21.66. The company’s 50-day moving average is $18.81. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.44 billion, a PE ratio of 19.75 and a beta of 0.79.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 18th. The transportation company reported $0.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.19 by $0.02. Heartland Express had a net margin of 12.91% and a return on equity of 12.64%. The company had revenue of $139.54 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $147.43 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.16 earnings per share. Heartland Express’s quarterly revenue was down 11.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Heartland Express will post 0.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 21st will be issued a $0.02 dividend. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.46%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 20th. Heartland Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 9.09%.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in HTLD. Granite Investment Partners LLC raised its position in shares of Heartland Express by 21.9% during the 1st quarter. Granite Investment Partners LLC now owns 45,400 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $875,000 after purchasing an additional 8,156 shares during the period. AlphaCrest Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Heartland Express during the 1st quarter valued at $894,000. Sawtooth Solutions LLC bought a new stake in shares of Heartland Express during the 1st quarter valued at $390,000. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc raised its position in shares of Heartland Express by 51.8% during the 1st quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc now owns 4,400 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $86,000 after purchasing an additional 1,501 shares during the period. Finally, BBT Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Heartland Express during the 1st quarter valued at $429,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 56.52% of the company’s stock.

About Heartland Express

Heartland Express, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a short-to-medium haul truckload carrier in the United States and Canada. The company primarily provides nationwide asset-based dry van truckload service for shippers from Washington to Florida and New England to California; and temperature-controlled truckload services.

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