Heartland Express Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) shares were up 2.2% on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $18.55 and last traded at $18.51, with a volume of 180,829 shares. The stock had previously closed at $18.11.

Several research analysts have weighed in on HTLD shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 5th. Wells Fargo & Co. lowered shares of Heartland Express from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Monday, May 9th. Robert W. Baird raised their price objective on shares of Heartland Express from $19.00 to $20.00 in a report on Monday, April 4th. Wedbush reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $18.00 price objective (down from $27.00) on shares of Heartland Express in a report on Thursday, May 26th. Finally, BB&T Corp. lowered shares of Heartland Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $19.36.

The company has a market cap of $1.52 billion and a P/E ratio of 22.54. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $17.90 and a 200-day moving average price of $17.86.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $0.17 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.16 by $0.01. The firm earned $162.80 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $175.65 million. The business’s revenue was down 13.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.20 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Heartland Express Inc. will post $0.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, June 21st were given a $0.02 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, June 17th. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.44%.

In related news, Director Larry J. Gordon sold 95,934 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.74, for a total transaction of $1,701,869.16. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 522,867 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,275,660.58. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website.

A number of hedge funds have bought and sold shares of HTLD. Nationwide Fund Advisors boosted its stake in Heartland Express by 36.1% in the fourth quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 360,487 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,135,000 after buying an additional 95,678 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in Heartland Express by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 397,939 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,773,000 after buying an additional 5,239 shares during the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers boosted its stake in Heartland Express by 5.0% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 88,613 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,508,000 after buying an additional 4,210 shares during the last quarter. Redwood Capital Investments LLC acquired a new stake in Heartland Express during the fourth quarter worth about $70,943,000. Finally, Columbia Wanger Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Heartland Express by 3.1% in the fourth quarter. Columbia Wanger Asset Management LLC now owns 4,184,367 shares of the company’s stock worth $71,218,000 after buying an additional 124,569 shares during the last quarter.

Heartland Express, Inc (Heartland) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of Heartland Express Inc of Iowa, Gordon Trucking, Inc, Heartland Express Services, Inc, Heartland Express Maintenance Services, Inc and A & M Express, Inc It provides transportation services to shippers spanning from Washington to Florida and New England to California, as well as parts of Canada.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.