Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) from a buy rating to a strong sell rating in a report released on Tuesday, 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. “

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Robert W. Baird set a $21.00 price objective on Heartland Express and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Friday, July 19th. ValuEngine upgraded Heartland Express from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, October 19th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Heartland Express from $15.00 to $16.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a report on Monday, October 7th. Barclays restated a sell rating and issued a $18.00 price objective on shares of Heartland Express in a report on Thursday, October 3rd. Finally, UBS Group raised their price objective on Heartland Express from $20.00 to $23.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Friday, October 11th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $20.86.

NASDAQ:HTLD traded up $0.01 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $21.61. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 388,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 278,126. The business’s 50-day moving average is $21.73 and its two-hundred day moving average is $20.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.06, a quick ratio of 3.65 and a current ratio of 2.29. Heartland Express has a 52-week low of $17.00 and a 52-week high of $22.71. The company has a market capitalization of $1.78 billion, a PE ratio of 24.56 and a beta of 0.77.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 30th. The transportation company reported $0.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.25. The firm had revenue of $147.91 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $147.02 million. Heartland Express had a return on equity of 12.84% and a net margin of 14.33%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.23 EPS. As a group, analysts predict that Heartland Express will post 1 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Larry J. Gordon sold 44,944 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.12, for a total transaction of $994,161.28. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 303,159 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,705,877.08. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 42.80% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Wrapmanager Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Heartland Express by 6.0% during the 2nd quarter. Wrapmanager Inc. now owns 14,194 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $256,000 after buying an additional 799 shares during the period. US Bancorp DE increased its holdings in Heartland Express by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 38,444 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $695,000 after purchasing an additional 878 shares during the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada increased its holdings in Heartland Express by 18.7% during the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 6,663 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $120,000 after purchasing an additional 1,048 shares during the last quarter. CWM Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Heartland Express by 16.6% during the 2nd quarter. CWM Advisors LLC now owns 11,738 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $212,000 after purchasing an additional 1,667 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank increased its holdings in Heartland Express by 2.1% during the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 83,800 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $1,514,000 after purchasing an additional 1,700 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 56.22% 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. 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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