Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) Receives Average Rating of “Hold” from Brokerages


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Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) has received a consensus rating of “Hold” from the nine analysts that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $21.00.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on the company. Barclays upgraded Heartland Express from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $20.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 16th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Heartland Express from $17.00 to $18.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 5th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 22nd. KeyCorp cut their price objective on Heartland Express from $26.00 to $25.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 19th. Finally, TheStreet lowered Heartland Express from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 22nd.

Shares of NASDAQ HTLD traded down $0.20 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $18.49. 286,711 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 488,793. The company has a market capitalization of $1.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.07 and a beta of 0.57. Heartland Express has a 52-week low of $15.65 and a 52-week high of $22.75. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $18.53 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $19.57.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 16th. The transportation company reported $0.25 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.25. Heartland Express had a return on equity of 9.44% and a net margin of 10.04%. The company had revenue of $162.28 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $165.75 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.25 EPS. Heartland Express’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Heartland Express will post 0.88 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 18th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 8th were given a $0.02 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 7th. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.43%. Heartland Express’s dividend payout ratio is currently 8.99%.

In other news, Director James G. Pratt purchased 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 26th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $18.81 per share, for a total transaction of $188,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 13,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $244,530. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 43.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Heartland Express by 84.3% during the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 6,737 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $140,000 after purchasing an additional 3,082 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in Heartland Express by 133.7% during the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 7,314 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $153,000 after buying an additional 4,184 shares during the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Heartland Express by 18,295.1% during the third quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 7,542 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $141,000 after buying an additional 7,501 shares during the last quarter. Jane Street Group LLC purchased a new position in Heartland Express during the second quarter valued at $205,000. Finally, M&T Bank Corp purchased a new position in Heartland Express during the third quarter valued at $194,000. Institutional investors own 53.30% 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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Analyst Recommendations for Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD)

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