J. B. Hunt (JBHT) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

J. B. Hunt (NASDAQ:JBHT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “We expect J.B. Hunt's bottom line in the first quarter to be adversely impacted by higher operating expenses due to increased driver wages, among other factors. Detailed results should be out on Apr 16. In fact, driver shortages have been hurting the company for quite some time. High debt levels at J.B. Hunt are concerning as well. Due to these headwinds, shares of J.B. Hunt underperformed its industry in a year's time. However, J.B. Hunt's volume growth at the primary division — intermodal — is impressive. Its efforts to reward shareholders through dividend payments and buybacks are encouraging as well. Moreover, the new tax law (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act), which reduces corporate tax rate significantly, is a positive. This, in turn, might have contributed to the 4.3% dividend hike announced by the company in January. In 2018, effective tax rate is projected to come down to approximately 25% from 37.9% in 2017.”

Several other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the company. BidaskClub raised J. B. Hunt from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, December 9th. Bank of America reissued a “buy” rating and set a $128.00 target price (up previously from $117.00) on shares of J. B. Hunt in a research report on Thursday, December 28th. Stephens restated a “buy” rating and set a $140.00 price target on shares of J. B. Hunt in a research note on Friday, January 19th. JPMorgan Chase restated a “neutral” rating and set a $121.00 price target on shares of J. B. Hunt in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group restated an “outperform” rating and set a $129.00 price target (up previously from $111.00) on shares of J. B. Hunt in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. J. B. Hunt currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $121.95.

Shares of NASDAQ JBHT opened at $109.93 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.45, a quick ratio of 1.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59. J. B. Hunt has a fifty-two week low of $83.35 and a fifty-two week high of $126.49. The stock has a market cap of $12,065.26, a PE ratio of 29.31, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.65 and a beta of 0.93.

J. B. Hunt (NASDAQ:JBHT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The transportation company reported $3.48 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $2.45. J. B. Hunt had a return on equity of 27.32% and a net margin of 9.55%. The business had revenue of $1.99 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.93 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.05 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 15.6% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that J. B. Hunt will post 5.28 EPS for the current year.

In other J. B. Hunt news, Director Earl Wayne Garrison sold 21,344 shares of J. B. Hunt stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $125.79, for a total value of $2,684,861.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Johnnie B. Hunt, Jr. sold 2,328 shares of J. B. Hunt stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.00, for a total value of $281,688.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 70,697 shares in the company, valued at $8,554,337. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 4.20% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in JBHT. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its stake in shares of J. B. Hunt by 61.6% in the 4th quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 817,711 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $94,020,000 after purchasing an additional 311,590 shares during the last quarter. AGF Investments Inc. purchased a new position in shares of J. B. Hunt in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $30,935,000. First Trust Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of J. B. Hunt by 278.3% in the 4th quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 364,590 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $41,921,000 after purchasing an additional 268,216 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of J. B. Hunt by 118.4% in the 4th quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 486,595 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $55,949,000 after purchasing an additional 263,823 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Alyeska Investment Group L.P. purchased a new position in shares of J. B. Hunt in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $25,531,000. Institutional investors own 72.18% of the company’s stock.

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J. B. Hunt Company Profile

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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