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

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, 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 brokerages have also issued reports on HTLD. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $21.00 price target (down from $22.00) on shares of Heartland Express in a research note on Monday, May 17th. TheStreet lowered shares of Heartland Express from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Friday, June 18th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $20.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, July 1st. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on shares of Heartland Express in a research report on Monday, June 21st. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $21.43.

Shares of Heartland Express stock remained flat at $$16.55 on Wednesday. 397,312 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 384,654. Heartland Express has a twelve month low of $16.22 and a twelve month high of $21.53. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $17.60. The stock has a market cap of $1.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.39 and a beta of 0.55.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Sunday, July 18th. The transportation company reported $0.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.26. Heartland Express had a net margin of 11.66% and a return on equity of 10.08%. The business had revenue of $154.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $165.27 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.24 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts expect that Heartland Express will post 0.98 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. LexAurum Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Heartland Express in the first quarter valued at about $196,000. OLD National Bancorp IN purchased a new stake in shares of Heartland Express in the first quarter valued at about $202,000. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Heartland Express by 6.5% in the first quarter. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 10,955 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $213,000 after purchasing an additional 667 shares in the last quarter. Jane Street Group LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Heartland Express in the first quarter valued at about $217,000. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp purchased a new stake in shares of Heartland Express in the first quarter valued at about $220,000. 57.50% of the stock is currently owned by 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. It 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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