Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Saturday morning, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $21.00 target price on the transportation company’s stock.

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. “

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on HTLD. BidaskClub downgraded Heartland Express from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Saturday, June 1st. Stephens set a $22.00 target price on Heartland Express and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Monday, April 22nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and six have assigned a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $19.17.

NASDAQ:HTLD opened at $18.73 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.28 and a beta of 0.79. Heartland Express has a 12-month low of $17.00 and a 12-month high of $21.66.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 18th. The transportation company reported $0.21 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.19 by $0.02. Heartland Express had a return on equity of 12.64% and a net margin of 12.91%. The company had revenue of $139.54 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $147.43 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.16 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 11.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Heartland Express will post 0.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 21st will be given a $0.02 dividend. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.43%. Heartland Express’s payout ratio is 9.09%.

In other news, VP Kent Daryl Rigdon sold 1,538 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.09, for a total value of $30,898.42. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 1,128 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $22,661.52. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 42.80% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its position in Heartland Express by 0.5% during the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 385,777 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $7,060,000 after buying an additional 2,103 shares in the last quarter. Investment Counselors of Maryland LLC grew its position in Heartland Express by 1.5% during the fourth quarter. Investment Counselors of Maryland LLC now owns 1,154,178 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $21,121,000 after buying an additional 16,793 shares in the last quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. grew its position in Heartland Express by 6.0% during the first quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 11,974 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $231,000 after buying an additional 680 shares in the last quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP grew its position in Heartland Express by 9.5% during the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 142,806 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $2,613,000 after buying an additional 12,400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers grew its position in Heartland Express by 20.8% during the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 135,089 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $2,472,000 after buying an additional 23,293 shares in the last quarter. 56.54% 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. 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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