First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) by 10.0% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 91,708 shares of the transportation company’s stock after buying an additional 8,374 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP owned approximately 0.11% of Heartland Express worth $1,839,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of HTLD. Fortaleza Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in Heartland Express during the fourth quarter valued at $154,000. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd bought a new position in Heartland Express during the fourth quarter valued at $278,000. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System boosted its position in Heartland Express by 1.1% in the first quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 17,600 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $353,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans boosted its position in Heartland Express by 5.4% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 23,348 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $475,000 after buying an additional 1,190 shares during the period. Finally, Guggenheim Capital LLC boosted its position in Heartland Express by 65.5% in the fourth quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 24,880 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $507,000 after buying an additional 9,850 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 60.32% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD)

Heartland Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) opened at 20.71 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.73 billion, a PE ratio of 30.77 and a beta of 0.51. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $19.78 and its 200-day moving average is $20.26. Heartland Express, Inc. has a 12 month low of $16.55 and a 12 month high of $22.69.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, April 21st. The transportation company reported $0.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.15 by $0.02. Heartland Express had a return on equity of 11.20% and a net margin of 9.66%. The business had revenue of $129.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $147.17 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.17 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 20.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Heartland Express, Inc. will post $0.70 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 23rd will be given a dividend of $0.02 per share. This represents a $0.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.39%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 21st. Heartland Express’s dividend payout ratio is currently 11.76%.

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Several research firms recently weighed in on HTLD. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Heartland Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 11th. Finally, TheStreet cut shares of Heartland Express from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $15.00.

Heartland Express Company Profile

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.

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