Heartland Express Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) was up 2.8% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The company traded as high as $18.58 and last traded at $18.55, with a volume of 192,547 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $18.04.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on HTLD shares. Wells Fargo & Co. cut Heartland Express from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Monday, May 9th. Wedbush reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $18.00 target price (down from $27.00) on shares of Heartland Express in a research note on Thursday, May 26th. FBR & Co cut their target price on Heartland Express from $20.00 to $18.00 in a research note on Thursday, May 26th. BB&T Corp. cut Heartland Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 22nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 5th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $19.50.

The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $17.81 and a 200-day moving average price of $17.97. The stock has a market cap of $1.54 billion and a PE ratio of 25.06.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.20. The firm had revenue of $160.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $167.94 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.27 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 16.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Heartland Express Inc. will post $0.73 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 21st were given a dividend of $0.02 per share. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.43%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, June 17th.

In other news, Director Larry J. Gordon sold 95,934 shares of the business’s 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 sale, the director now directly owns 522,867 shares in the company, valued at $9,275,660.58. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website.

Other hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Redwood Capital Investments LLC purchased a new stake in Heartland Express during the fourth quarter worth about $70,943,000. Jennison Associates LLC boosted its stake in Heartland Express by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 1,176,959 shares of the company’s stock worth $20,032,000 after buying an additional 8,042 shares in 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 in the last quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System boosted its stake in Heartland Express by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 93,329 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,588,000 after buying an additional 1,431 shares in the last quarter. Finally, 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 in 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.

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