Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Marten Transport, Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRTN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note 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. “

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on MRTN. BidaskClub downgraded Marten Transport from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Stifel Nicolaus set a $15.00 price target on Marten Transport and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Finally, ValuEngine raised Marten Transport from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $17.50.

Marten Transport (NASDAQ:MRTN) traded up 1.10% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $18.40. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 183,033 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.00 billion, a PE ratio of 29.58 and a beta of 1.27. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $16.47 and its 200 day moving average price is $15.37. Marten Transport has a 1-year low of $11.22 and a 1-year high of $18.55.

Marten Transport (NASDAQ:MRTN) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The transportation company reported $0.17 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.15 by $0.02. Marten Transport had a return on equity of 7.72% and a net margin of 4.96%. The firm had revenue of $171.51 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $176.08 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.26 EPS. Marten Transport’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Marten Transport will post $0.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.025 per share. This represents a $0.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.54%. This is an increase from Marten Transport’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.02. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Marten Transport’s payout ratio is 9.58%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its holdings in Marten Transport by 376.0% during the 1st quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 4,355 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 3,440 shares during the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Marten Transport by 2.4% during the 1st quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 4,688 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 108 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new stake in Marten Transport during the 2nd quarter worth about $116,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue lifted its holdings in Marten Transport by 78.9% during the 2nd quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 4,580 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $125,000 after buying an additional 2,020 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Marten Transport by 7.2% in the 1st quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 5,418 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $127,000 after purchasing an additional 365 shares during the last quarter. 42.36% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Marten Transport

Marten Transport, Ltd. is a temperature-sensitive truckload carrier. The Company focuses on 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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