$0.14 Earnings Per Share Expected for Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) This Quarter

Equities analysts predict that Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) will post earnings per share of $0.14 for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Four analysts have issued estimates for Heartland Express’ earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $0.16 and the lowest estimate coming in at $0.10. Heartland Express reported earnings of $0.21 per share during the same quarter last year, which suggests a negative year-over-year growth rate of 33.3%. The firm is scheduled to issue its next earnings results on Thursday, April 16th.

On average, 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 company will post earnings of $0.99 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $0.82 to $1.10. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that follow Heartland Express.

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

A number of analysts have commented on HTLD shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Heartland Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday. Robert W. Baird raised shares of Heartland Express from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $22.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, March 17th. TheStreet cut shares of Heartland Express from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Monday, February 24th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Heartland Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 20th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $21.00.

In other news, Director Michael John Sullivan acquired 2,000 shares of Heartland Express 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 purchase, the director now directly owns 8,402 shares in the company, valued at approximately $163,670.96. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 42.80% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in HTLD. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in Heartland Express by 17.5% in the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 131,345 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $2,825,000 after acquiring an additional 19,600 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Heartland Express in the third quarter valued at approximately $79,000. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Heartland Express by 36.9% in the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 103,543 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $2,227,000 after buying an additional 27,923 shares during the period. California State Teachers Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Heartland Express by 1.2% in the third quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 71,574 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $1,540,000 after buying an additional 855 shares during the period. Finally, Point72 Asset Management L.P. bought a new stake in shares of Heartland Express in the third quarter valued at approximately $136,000. 55.57% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 20th will be paid a $0.02 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 19th. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.44%. Heartland Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 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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