Shares of Heartland Financial USA, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLF) have earned a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the eight analysts that are covering the firm. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, two have given a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 1 year price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $38.00.

Several research analysts have weighed in on HTLF shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Heartland Financial USA from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, November 2nd. FBR & Co restated a “marketperform” rating on shares of Heartland Financial USA in a research report on Monday, January 9th.

In other Heartland Financial USA news, EVP Douglas J. Horstmann sold 8,409 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.00, for a total value of $386,814.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. 12.63% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. increased its position in shares of Heartland Financial USA by 1.4% in the second quarter. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. now owns 1,718,143 shares of the company’s stock valued at $60,633,000 after buying an additional 24,033 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp increased its position in shares of Heartland Financial USA by 2.1% in the third quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 879,017 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,706,000 after buying an additional 18,444 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Heartland Financial USA by 8.6% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 754,233 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,615,000 after buying an additional 59,430 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Heartland Financial USA by 6.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 724,494 shares of the company’s stock valued at $25,568,000 after buying an additional 43,954 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in shares of Heartland Financial USA by 3.7% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 576,990 shares of the company’s stock valued at $20,812,000 after buying an additional 20,494 shares during the last quarter. 38.84% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Heartland Financial USA (NASDAQ:HTLF) opened at 47.15 on Wednesday. Heartland Financial USA has a 12 month low of $26.31 and a 12 month high of $49.15. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $45.80 and its 200 day moving average price is $38.75. The company has a market capitalization of $1.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.89 and a beta of 0.68.

Heartland Financial USA (NASDAQ:HTLF) last issued its earnings results on Monday, October 31st. The company reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.06. Heartland Financial USA had a net margin of 17.73% and a return on equity of 11.51%. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.69 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that Heartland Financial USA will post $3.20 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a special dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 23rd were issued a $0.10 dividend. This represents a dividend yield of 0.88%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, December 21st. Heartland Financial USA’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 12.74%.

About Heartland Financial USA

Heartland Financial USA, Inc (Heartland) is a multi-bank holding company. The Company’s segments include community and other banking, and retail mortgage banking. Its community and other banking segment is engaged in making loans to, and generating deposits from, individuals and businesses in the markets where Heartland has banks.

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