Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Marten Transport, Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRTN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

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 research analysts have also recently weighed in on MRTN. Stifel Nicolaus set a $15.00 price target on shares of Marten Transport and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. BidaskClub raised shares of Marten Transport from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 16th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Marten Transport from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Marten Transport has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $17.50.

Shares of Marten Transport (NASDAQ MRTN) opened at 18.90 on Thursday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $16.93 and its 200-day moving average is $15.57. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.03 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.39 and a beta of 1.27. Marten Transport has a 12-month low of $11.22 and a 12-month high of $19.05.

Marten Transport (NASDAQ:MRTN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The transportation company reported $0.17 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.15 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $171.51 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $176.08 million. Marten Transport had a net margin of 4.96% and a return on equity of 7.72%. Marten Transport’s revenue was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.26 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast 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 given a dividend of $0.025 per share. This represents a $0.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.53%. This is a boost from Marten Transport’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.02. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. Marten Transport’s payout ratio is 15.97%.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Wellington Management Group LLP lifted its position in Marten Transport by 14.7% during the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 1,841,229 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $43,177,000 after buying an additional 235,974 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in Marten Transport by 2.3% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,261,440 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $34,563,000 after buying an additional 28,574 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in Marten Transport by 7.4% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,232,898 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $33,782,000 after buying an additional 84,766 shares in the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lifted its position in Marten Transport by 46.1% during the second quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 980,124 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $26,856,000 after buying an additional 309,413 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Granite Investment Partners LLC lifted its position in Marten Transport by 71.2% during the second quarter. Granite Investment Partners LLC now owns 795,922 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $13,085,000 after buying an additional 331,098 shares in the last quarter. 42.36% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Marten Transport Company Profile

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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