BidaskClub upgraded shares of Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning, BidAskClub reports.

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Robert W. Baird set a $21.00 price objective on shares of Heartland Express and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Friday, July 19th. Seaport Global Securities upgraded shares of Heartland Express from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $25.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, September 5th. Stephens began coverage on shares of Heartland Express in a report on Monday, July 1st. They set a hold rating on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Heartland Express from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, July 23rd. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $21.40.

Shares of HTLD stock traded down $0.08 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $22.10. 6,116 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 274,575. The firm has a market cap of $1.82 billion, a PE ratio of 25.20 and a beta of 0.77. Heartland Express has a 1 year low of $17.00 and a 1 year high of $22.29. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $20.12 and a 200 day moving average of $19.44.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 18th. The transportation company reported $0.27 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.24 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $142.14 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $144.93 million. Heartland Express had a net margin of 14.00% and a return on equity of 13.01%. The company’s revenue was down 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.22 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Heartland Express will post 0.98 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 1st. Investors of record on Friday, September 20th will be issued a $0.02 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 19th. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.36%. Heartland Express’s payout ratio is 9.09%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Heartland Express by 2.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,608,391 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $83,274,000 after buying an additional 120,968 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. raised its holdings in Heartland Express by 793.5% in the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 810,479 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $14,645,000 after buying an additional 719,774 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in Heartland Express by 0.8% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 680,575 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $12,298,000 after buying an additional 5,271 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in Heartland Express by 5.0% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 650,193 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $11,748,000 after buying an additional 31,034 shares during the period. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Heartland Express in the second quarter valued at approximately $10,660,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 56.29% of the company’s stock.

About Heartland Express

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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