Quantbot Technologies LP bought a new stake in Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund bought 30,995 shares of the transportation company’s stock, valued at approximately $557,000.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the company. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in shares of Heartland Express in the first quarter valued at $103,000. Engineers Gate Manager LP bought a new stake in shares of Heartland Express in the first quarter valued at $197,000. Ramsey Quantitative Systems bought a new stake in shares of Heartland Express during the 4th quarter valued at $240,000. ETRADE Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Heartland Express during the 4th quarter valued at $244,000. Finally, Citigroup Inc. raised its stake in shares of Heartland Express by 987.7% during the 1st quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 14,989 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $269,000 after purchasing an additional 13,611 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.29% of the company’s stock.
In other Heartland Express news, Director Tahira K. Hira bought 36,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 17th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $18.28 per share, for a total transaction of $667,220.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 42.10% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, April 25th. The transportation company reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.12 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $156.70 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $169.55 million. Heartland Express had a return on equity of 7.49% and a net margin of 11.75%. sell-side analysts expect that Heartland Express, Inc. will post 0.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Heartland Express declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Friday, May 11th that permits the company to repurchase 5,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the transportation company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 22nd will be paid a $0.02 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 21st. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.42%. Heartland Express’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.69%.
A number of research firms recently issued reports on HTLD. BidaskClub upgraded Heartland Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 1st. ValuEngine upgraded Heartland Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 31st. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on Heartland Express to $15.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, May 7th. TheStreet lowered Heartland Express from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 5th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus began coverage on Heartland Express in a research note on Friday, April 6th. They set a “hold” rating and a $17.00 price objective on the stock. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have issued a hold rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $21.13.
About Heartland Express
Heartland Express, Inc, through 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 transportation services.
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