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 research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on shares of Heartland Express in a research note on Monday, June 21st. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. TheStreet lowered shares of Heartland Express from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Friday, June 18th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $21.00 target price (down from $22.00) on shares of Heartland Express in a research note on Monday, May 17th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised 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 note on Thursday, July 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $21.43.

Heartland Express stock remained flat at $$16.55 during midday trading on Wednesday. 397,312 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 384,654. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.32 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.39 and a beta of 0.55. Heartland Express has a 1 year low of $16.22 and a 1 year high of $21.53. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $17.60.

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

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its holdings in shares of Heartland Express by 62.6% during the 4th quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 315,604 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $5,713,000 after buying an additional 121,512 shares during the last quarter. Credit Suisse AG increased its holdings in shares of Heartland Express by 27.9% during the 4th quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 56,022 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $1,015,000 after buying an additional 12,208 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Heartland Express by 48.3% during the 1st quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 30,818 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $603,000 after buying an additional 10,036 shares during the last quarter. OLD National Bancorp IN acquired a new stake in shares of Heartland Express during the 1st quarter worth approximately $202,000. Finally, Ziegler Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Heartland Express by 37.2% during the 1st quarter. Ziegler Capital Management LLC now owns 68,628 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $1,344,000 after buying an additional 18,600 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 57.50% of the company’s stock.

Heartland Express Company Profile

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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