Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) was downgraded by stock analysts at BidaskClub from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Thursday, BidAskClub reports.

HTLD has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Robert W. Baird set a $21.00 price target on shares of Heartland Express and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 19th. Seaport Global Securities raised shares of Heartland Express from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, September 5th. Stephens initiated coverage on shares of Heartland Express in a report on Monday, July 1st. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Heartland Express from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 23rd. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Heartland Express presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $21.40.

Shares of Heartland Express stock traded up $0.08 on Thursday, reaching $21.38. 1,888 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 300,812. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $20.33 and its 200-day moving average is $19.48. Heartland Express has a one year low of $17.00 and a one year high of $22.29. The firm has a market cap of $1.78 billion, a PE ratio of 24.27 and a beta of 0.77.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 18th. The transportation company reported $0.27 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.24 by $0.03. Heartland Express had a net margin of 14.00% and a return on equity of 13.01%. The company had revenue of $142.14 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $144.93 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.22 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts predict that Heartland Express will post 1.02 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Larry J. Gordon sold 44,944 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.12, for a total value of $994,161.28. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 303,159 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,705,877.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 42.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in Heartland Express by 6.0% in the 1st quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 11,974 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $231,000 after purchasing an additional 680 shares during the last quarter. Wrapmanager Inc. lifted its stake in Heartland Express by 6.0% in the 2nd quarter. Wrapmanager Inc. now owns 14,194 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $256,000 after purchasing an additional 799 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank lifted its stake in Heartland Express by 1.9% in the 1st quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 47,169 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $919,000 after purchasing an additional 876 shares during the last quarter. US Bancorp DE lifted its stake in Heartland Express by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 38,444 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $695,000 after purchasing an additional 878 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada lifted its stake in Heartland Express by 18.7% in the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 6,663 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $120,000 after purchasing an additional 1,048 shares during the last quarter. 56.27% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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