Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) has received an average rating of “Hold” from the twelve analysts that are covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation and six have issued a hold recommendation on the company. The average 12 month price target among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $20.29.
A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine cut Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday. BidaskClub raised Heartland Express from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 20th. Stifel Nicolaus assumed coverage on Heartland Express in a report on Friday, April 6th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $17.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley cut their price target on Heartland Express to $15.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a report on Monday, May 7th. Finally, Stephens reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $19.00 price target on shares of Heartland Express in a report on Wednesday, March 28th.
In other Heartland Express news, Director Tahira K. Hira acquired 36,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 17th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $18.28 per share, with a total value of $667,220.00. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 42.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. American Century Companies Inc. grew its position in shares of Heartland Express by 15.0% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 9,313,315 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $167,547,000 after purchasing an additional 1,216,804 shares during the period. ArrowMark Colorado Holdings LLC grew its position in shares of Heartland Express by 12.0% in the fourth quarter. ArrowMark Colorado Holdings LLC now owns 7,016,174 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $163,758,000 after purchasing an additional 749,703 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Heartland Express by 0.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,313,669 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $113,582,000 after purchasing an additional 35,130 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in shares of Heartland Express by 6.5% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,703,571 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $48,637,000 after purchasing an additional 165,451 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in shares of Heartland Express by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 758,449 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $17,703,000 after purchasing an additional 25,567 shares during the period. 62.29% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of NASDAQ HTLD traded up $0.18 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $18.97. The company had a trading volume of 202,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 553,136. Heartland Express has a twelve month low of $17.38 and a twelve month high of $25.22. The stock has a market cap of $1.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 37.20, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 0.66.
Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 25th. The transportation company reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.12 by $0.04. Heartland Express had a return on equity of 7.49% and a net margin of 11.75%. The company had revenue of $156.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $169.55 million. analysts forecast that Heartland Express will post 0.7 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 22nd were given a $0.02 dividend. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.42%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 21st. Heartland Express’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.69%.
Heartland Express announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Friday, May 11th that allows the company to repurchase 5,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the transportation company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
About Heartland Express
Heartland Express, Inc, through 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 transportation services.
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