J.B. Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

J.B. Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, December 19th.

According to Zacks, “Shares of J.B. Hunt have underperformed its industry so far this year. The stock has appreciated 16.2% compared with the industry's gain of 25.9%,  over the same period. The company's high operating expenses pose a threat to its bottom line growth. The recent natural calamities have hampered operations of this transportation company. Moreover, J.B. Hunt is a highly leveraged company. The neagativity surrounding the stock is evident from the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current quarter being revised downward 5.5% in the last 90 days. However, the company's decision to acquire Special Logistics Dedicated and its affiliated entities is encouraging. The acquisition will enhance the company's e-commerce delivery capabilities and will be accretive in 2018.”

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $114.00 price objective (up previously from $100.00) on shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Cowen reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $102.00 target price on shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services in a report on Sunday, October 1st. Stifel Nicolaus raised J.B. Hunt Transport Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $91.00 to $125.00 in a report on Friday, September 29th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $115.00 price objective on shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services in a report on Friday, September 22nd. Finally, Loop Capital reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $116.00 price objective (up previously from $103.00) on shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. J.B. Hunt Transport Services has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $114.28.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT) traded up $0.82 on Tuesday, hitting $120.93. The stock had a trading volume of 937,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,025,067. The stock has a market cap of $13,170.00, a PE ratio of 32.25, a PEG ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 1.05. The company has a current ratio of 1.48, a quick ratio of 1.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74. J.B. Hunt Transport Services has a 52 week low of $83.35 and a 52 week high of $121.19.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT) last released its earnings results on Friday, October 13th. The transportation company reported $0.91 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by ($0.05). J.B. Hunt Transport Services had a net margin of 6.05% and a return on equity of 28.90%. The firm had revenue of $1.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.82 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.97 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.0% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that J.B. Hunt Transport Services will post 3.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Earl Wayne Garrison sold 100,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $109.29, for a total value of $10,929,000.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 2,050,000 shares in the company, valued at $224,044,500. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Bradley W. Hicks sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.33, for a total value of $110,330.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 16,690 shares in the company, valued at $1,841,407.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 101,500 shares of company stock worth $11,095,605 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 4.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of JBHT. Sustainable Growth Advisers LP bought a new stake in J.B. Hunt Transport Services during the second quarter worth approximately $147,610,000. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C increased its stake in J.B. Hunt Transport Services by 15.4% during the second quarter. Atlanta Capital Management Co. L L C now owns 3,568,728 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $326,110,000 after acquiring an additional 477,144 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in J.B. Hunt Transport Services by 65.4% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,034,544 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $94,537,000 after acquiring an additional 409,200 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in J.B. Hunt Transport Services by 121.1% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 626,522 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $57,252,000 after acquiring an additional 343,147 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. grew its stake in shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services by 30.8% during the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,095,010 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $100,062,000 after buying an additional 257,725 shares during the last quarter. 70.93% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About J.B. Hunt Transport Services

J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc is a surface transportation, delivery, and logistics company in North America. The Company segments include Intermodal (JBI), Dedicated Contract Services (DCS), Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS) and Truck (JBT). The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides transportation and delivery services to a range of customers and consumers throughout the continental United States, Canada and Mexico.

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