Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

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

HTLD has been the subject of several other reports. Barclays lowered their price objective on Heartland Express from $20.00 to $17.00 and set an underweight rating for the company in a research report on Friday, April 17th. BidaskClub cut Heartland Express from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, June 11th. KeyCorp upped their price objective on Heartland Express from $22.00 to $24.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 27th. Finally, Robert W. Baird raised Heartland Express from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and set a $22.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, March 17th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $21.17.

NASDAQ HTLD opened at $20.49 on Tuesday. Heartland Express has a fifty-two week low of $15.65 and a fifty-two week high of $22.71. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.39 and a beta of 0.57. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $20.54 and its two-hundred day moving average is $19.72.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 21st. The transportation company reported $0.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.13 by $0.03. Heartland Express had a return on equity of 10.22% and a net margin of 11.05%. The firm had revenue of $166.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $164.93 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.21 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 19.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Heartland Express will post 0.67 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 19th will be given a dividend of $0.02 per share. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.39%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 18th. Heartland Express’s dividend payout ratio is currently 8.99%.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in Heartland Express by 61.2% in the 4th quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 20,726 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $387,000 after buying an additional 7,868 shares during the last quarter. Swiss National Bank boosted its holdings in shares of Heartland Express by 1.9% during the 4th quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 86,300 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $1,817,000 after buying an additional 1,600 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its holdings in Heartland Express by 3.8% in the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,522,637 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $32,052,000 after purchasing an additional 55,294 shares during the period. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Heartland Express by 326.7% in the 4th quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 8,896 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $187,000 after purchasing an additional 6,811 shares during the period. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Heartland Express by 0.3% in the 4th quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 439,156 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $9,245,000 after purchasing an additional 1,452 shares during the period. 53.39% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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