Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) by 0.1% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 329,443 shares of the transportation company’s stock after acquiring an additional 236 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned approximately 0.40% of Heartland Express worth $6,859,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can lifted its position in Heartland Express by 2.6% during the first quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 60,874 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $1,219,000 after buying an additional 1,553 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its position in Heartland Express by 10.0% during the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 91,708 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $1,839,000 after buying an additional 8,374 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in Heartland Express by 8.5% during the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 604,098 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $12,112,000 after buying an additional 47,449 shares in the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. lifted its position in Heartland Express by 16.7% during the first quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 13,891 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $277,000 after buying an additional 1,984 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Comerica Bank lifted its position in Heartland Express by 3.7% during the first quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 48,556 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $996,000 after buying an additional 1,743 shares in the last quarter. 60.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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In related news, EVP John P. Cosaert sold 7,146 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 11th. The stock was 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 document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Insiders own 42.10% of the company’s stock.

Heartland Express, Inc. (HTLD) opened at 25.08 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $21.62 and its 200-day moving average is $20.60. Heartland Express, Inc. has a 12 month low of $17.06 and a 12 month high of $25.22. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.09 billion, a PE ratio of 38.58 and a beta of 0.53.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The transportation company reported $0.18 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.19 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $129.62 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $139.89 million. Heartland Express had a net margin of 9.89% and a return on equity of 10.60%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 19.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.20 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Heartland Express, Inc. will post $0.70 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, September 22nd will be paid a $0.02 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 21st. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.32%. Heartland Express’s payout ratio is 12.12%.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on HTLD shares. TheStreet raised shares of Heartland Express from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 7th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $23.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, June 26th. BidaskClub raised shares of Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 14th. Stifel Nicolaus raised shares of Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $22.00 to $28.00 in a research report on Friday. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $24.00 price target on shares of Heartland Express in a research report on Sunday, September 17th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $23.20.

Heartland Express Profile

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD)

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