Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) Major Shareholder Sells $65,282,617.40 in Stock

Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) major shareholder Michael J. Gerdin sold 3,260,870 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.02, for a total value of $65,282,617.40. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 681,124 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,636,102.48. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Large shareholders that own at least 10% of a company’s stock are required to disclose their transactions with the SEC.

Shares of NASDAQ HTLD opened at $20.28 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.04 and a beta of 0.56. Heartland Express, Inc. has a 52 week low of $15.65 and a 52 week high of $22.75. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $20.66 and a 200 day moving average price of $19.72.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 16th. The transportation company reported $0.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $160.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $152.39 million. Heartland Express had a net margin of 10.23% and a return on equity of 9.57%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 13.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.27 earnings per share. Research analysts forecast that Heartland Express, Inc. will post 0.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 1st. Investors of record on Friday, June 19th were issued a dividend of $0.02 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, June 18th. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.39%. Heartland Express’s dividend payout ratio is presently 8.99%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Capital Advisory Group Advisory Services LLC acquired a new stake in Heartland Express in the first quarter valued at $25,000. Advisor Group Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Heartland Express in the 1st quarter worth about $30,000. Capital Square LLC acquired a new stake in Heartland Express in the 1st quarter valued at about $32,000. Parallel Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Heartland Express by 152.4% during the 1st quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 3,314 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $61,000 after acquiring an additional 2,001 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its position in Heartland Express by 42.0% during the first quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,456 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $64,000 after acquiring an additional 1,022 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 53.35% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have recently commented on HTLD. Wolfe Research upgraded Heartland Express from an “underperform” rating to a “peer perform” rating in a research note on Friday, July 17th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Heartland Express from $16.00 to $17.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 21st. KeyCorp raised their target price on shares of Heartland Express from $24.00 to $26.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, July 17th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 11th. Finally, Barclays raised their price objective on shares of Heartland Express from $17.00 to $19.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. Heartland Express presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $22.14.

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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