Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Heartland Express, Inc. is a leader in transportation and logistics. Heartland Express provides collaborative truckload transportation service that enables companies to deliver exceptional service across their transportation network to improve customer satisfaction. The company provides truckload transportation service to virtually all markets east of the Rocky Mountains at any length of haul. Heartland Express transports a variety of goods, including automotive parts, consumer goods, paper and plastic products, retail goods, and packaged foodstuffs. The company serves the truckload transportation needs of the top shippers in America. Heartland operates in the United States and is headquartered in North Liberty, IA. “

Several other research firms have also weighed in on HTLD. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $24.00 target price on shares of Heartland Express in a report on Sunday, September 17th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Heartland Express from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. J P Morgan Chase & Co lifted their target price on shares of Heartland Express from $19.00 to $21.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Barclays PLC cut their target price on shares of Heartland Express from $21.00 to $20.00 and set an underweight rating for the company in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an underweight rating on shares of Heartland Express in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $24.17.

Shares of Heartland Express (HTLD) opened at $21.17 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.79 billion, a PE ratio of 35.77, a P/E/G ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 0.54.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last posted its earnings results on Friday, October 27th. The transportation company reported $0.09 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.17 by ($0.08). The firm had revenue of $182.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $205.81 million. Heartland Express had a net margin of 8.54% and a return on equity of 9.50%. Heartland Express’s revenue for the quarter was up 22.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.15 earnings per share. equities research analysts expect that Heartland Express will post 0.58 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, EVP John P. Cosaert sold 7,146 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.54, for a total value of $161,070.84. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 57,668 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,299,836.72. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 42.10% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Pinebridge Investments L.P. increased its holdings in Heartland Express by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. now owns 5,707 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $119,000 after acquiring an additional 58 shares in the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan increased its holdings in Heartland Express by 1.6% in the 1st quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 9,890 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $198,000 after acquiring an additional 160 shares in the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in Heartland Express by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 23,105 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $481,000 after acquiring an additional 187 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC increased its holdings in Heartland Express by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 50,728 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $1,056,000 after acquiring an additional 206 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Texas Permanent School Fund increased its holdings in Heartland Express by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 31,623 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $658,000 after acquiring an additional 265 shares in the last quarter. 60.13% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Heartland Express

Heartland Express, Inc is a holding company. The Company is a short-to-medium haul truckload carrier. The Company focuses primarily on short- to medium-haul, asset-based dry van truckload services in regional markets near its terminals. The Company’s truckload services are primarily asset-based transportation services in the dry van truckload market, and it also offers truckload temperature-controlled transportation services and non-asset based brokerage services.

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Analyst Recommendations for Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD)

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