Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Marten Transport Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRTN) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Marten Transport, Ltd. is a long-haul truckload carrier providing protective service and time- sensitive transportation. Protective service transportation means temperature controlled or insulated carriage of temperature-sensitive materials and general commodities. “

Separately, Avondale Partners cut shares of Marten Transport from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $22.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Friday, July 22nd.

Shares of Marten Transport (NASDAQ:MRTN) opened at 21.53 on Wednesday. Marten Transport has a 1-year low of $14.62 and a 1-year high of $22.27. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $21.63 and a 200 day moving average price of $19.92. The stock has a market capitalization of $699.27 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.11 and a beta of 1.01.

Marten Transport (NASDAQ:MRTN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 19th. The company reported $0.26 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.25 by $0.01. Marten Transport had a net margin of 5.08% and a return on equity of 8.19%. The company earned $166.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $168.17 million. Equities research analysts anticipate that Marten Transport will post $1.00 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 27th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 13th will be issued a $0.025 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 9th. This represents a $0.10 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.46%. Marten Transport’s dividend payout ratio is currently 9.80%.

In other Marten Transport news, Chairman Randolph L. Marten sold 100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.76, for a total value of $2,176,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider John H. Turner sold 1,275 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.00, for a total transaction of $28,050.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 23.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Barclays PLC increased its stake in shares of Marten Transport by 532.8% in the second quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 5,062 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 4,262 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Marten Transport by 245.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,130 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 4,354 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in shares of Marten Transport by 104.7% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 7,133 shares of the company’s stock valued at $141,000 after buying an additional 3,648 shares during the last quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. bought a new position in shares of Marten Transport during the second quarter valued at about $209,000. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. bought a new position in shares of Marten Transport during the second quarter valued at about $217,000. 69.01% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Marten Transport

Marten Transport, Ltd. is a national protective service transportation company. It is a temperature-sensitive truckload carrier. The Company specializes in transporting and distributing food and other consumer-packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. The Company operates through four segments: Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal and Brokerage.

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