Heartland Express (NASDAQ: HTLD) is one of 15 publicly-traded companies in the “Freight Trucking” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its peers? We will compare Heartland Express to related companies based on the strength of its institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, risk and profitability.

Volatility & Risk

Heartland Express has a beta of 0.53, indicating that its stock price is 47% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Heartland Express’ peers have a beta of 1.01, indicating that their average stock price is 1% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Heartland Express and its peers top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Heartland Express $548.88 million $165.30 million 34.79
Heartland Express Competitors $1.53 billion $229.92 million 29.19

Heartland Express’ peers have higher revenue and earnings than Heartland Express. Heartland Express is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Profitability

This table compares Heartland Express and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Heartland Express 9.89% 10.60% 7.28%
Heartland Express Competitors 4.70% 9.92% 5.06%

Dividends

Heartland Express pays an annual dividend of $0.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.3%. Heartland Express pays out 12.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Freight Trucking” companies pay a dividend yield of 0.6% and pay out 16.3% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Heartland Express and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Heartland Express 1 5 0 0 1.83
Heartland Express Competitors 143 691 577 28 2.34

Heartland Express presently has a consensus price target of $21.67, suggesting a potential downside of 5.63%. As a group, “Freight Trucking” companies have a potential upside of 13.05%. Given Heartland Express’ peers stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Heartland Express has less favorable growth aspects than its peers.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

60.9% of Heartland Express shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 60.8% of shares of all “Freight Trucking” companies are owned by institutional investors. 42.1% of Heartland Express shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 23.4% of shares of all “Freight Trucking” companies are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Heartland Express peers beat Heartland Express on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

About Heartland Express

Heartland Express, Inc. is a holding company. The Company is a short-to-medium haul truckload carrier. The Company focuses primarily on short- to medium-haul, asset-based dry van truckload services in regional markets near its terminals. The Company’s truckload services are primarily asset-based transportation services in the dry van truckload market, and it also offers truckload temperature-controlled transportation services and non-asset based brokerage services. All tractors are equipped with mobile communication systems. Its primary customers include retailers and manufacturers. It provides nationwide asset-based dry van truckload service for shippers from Washington to Florida and New England to California. The Company provides truckload services across the United States and parts of Canada. As of December 31, 2016, it had operated 20 terminal facilities throughout the contiguous United States in addition to its terminal and corporate headquarters in North Liberty, Iowa.

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