Brokerages Expect Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) Will Announce Earnings of $0.14 Per Share

Brokerages forecast that Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) will announce $0.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Four analysts have issued estimates for Heartland Express’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $0.10 to $0.16. Heartland Express posted earnings per share of $0.21 in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a negative year over year growth rate of 33.3%. The company is scheduled to issue its next earnings report on Thursday, April 16th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Heartland Express will report full year earnings of $0.73 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $0.65 to $0.85. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the business will post earnings of $0.99 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $0.82 to $1.10. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that cover Heartland Express.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 23rd. The transportation company reported $0.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.23 by ($0.07). The firm had revenue of $167.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $170.47 million. Heartland Express had a return on equity of 11.04% and a net margin of 12.23%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.27 EPS.

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, March 20th. Robert W. Baird upgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $22.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, March 17th. TheStreet downgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Monday, February 24th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Heartland Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $21.00.

In related news, Director Michael John Sullivan acquired 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 5th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $19.48 per share, with a total value of $38,960.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 8,402 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $163,670.96. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 42.80% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Russell Investments Group Ltd. purchased a new stake in Heartland Express during the third quarter valued at approximately $79,000. Lionsbridge Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Heartland Express during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $94,000. Point72 Asset Management L.P. purchased a new stake in Heartland Express during the third quarter valued at approximately $136,000. Bank of Montreal Can increased its holdings in Heartland Express by 7.8% during the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 8,118 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $171,000 after buying an additional 585 shares during the last quarter. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its holdings in Heartland Express by 326.7% during the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 8,896 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $187,000 after buying an additional 6,811 shares during the last quarter. 55.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of NASDAQ HTLD traded up $0.54 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $18.20. The stock had a trading volume of 408,074 shares, compared to its average volume of 332,144. The business’s 50 day moving average is $18.43 and its 200-day moving average is $20.46. The company has a market cap of $1.47 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.45 and a beta of 0.76. Heartland Express has a 52 week low of $15.65 and a 52 week high of $22.71.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.02 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 19th. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.44%. Heartland Express’s payout ratio is 8.99%.

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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