Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) has been given a consensus recommendation of “Hold” by the eight analysts that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, two have given a hold recommendation and three have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month target price among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $20.80.
HTLD has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Heartland Express from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $20.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Thursday, July 1st. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 21st. Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on shares of Heartland Express in a research report on Monday, June 21st. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Friday, June 18th.
A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of HTLD. Sunflower Bank N.A. acquired a new stake in shares of Heartland Express in the 2nd quarter worth $272,000. Weiss Multi Strategy Advisers LLC lifted its stake in shares of Heartland Express by 104.4% in the 2nd quarter. Weiss Multi Strategy Advisers LLC now owns 96,065 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $1,646,000 after acquiring an additional 49,063 shares during the period. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY lifted its stake in shares of Heartland Express by 81,492.3% in the 2nd quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY now owns 10,607 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $182,000 after acquiring an additional 10,594 shares during the period. Millennium Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Heartland Express by 10.9% in the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 752,781 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $12,895,000 after acquiring an additional 73,907 shares during the period. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Heartland Express by 50.9% in the 2nd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 120,036 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $2,056,000 after acquiring an additional 40,485 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 56.07% of the company’s stock.
Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last announced its earnings results on Sunday, July 18th. The transportation company reported $0.26 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.26. Heartland Express had a net margin of 11.66% and a return on equity of 10.01%. The firm had revenue of $154.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $165.27 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.24 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Heartland Express will post 0.99 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, September 1st will be issued a $0.02 dividend. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.50%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 31st. Heartland Express’s payout ratio is 9.20%.
Heartland Express announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Friday, August 20th that allows the company to buyback 3,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the transportation company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
Heartland Express Company Profile
Heartland Express, Inc is a holding company, which engages in the provision of short-to-medium haul truckload carrier services. It offers long haul truckload and regional truckload transportation. The company was founded by Russell A. Gerdin in 1978 and is headquartered in North Liberty, IA.
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