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New Lifetime High Reached: Heartland Express (HTLD)

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Heartland Express ( HTLD) as a new lifetime high candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Heartland Express as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • HTLD has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $9.9 million.
  • HTLD has traded 6,200 shares today.
  • HTLD is trading at a new lifetime high.

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More details on HTLD:

Heartland Express, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a short-to-medium-haul truckload carrier of general commodities in the United States. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 0.4%. HTLD has a PE ratio of 25.5. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Heartland Express a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Heartland Express has been 564,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Heartland Express has a market cap of $1.8 billion and is part of the services sector and transportation industry. The stock has a beta of 0.52 and a short float of 7% with 7.92 days to cover. Shares are up 3.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Heartland Express as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 35.71% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 60.05% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Road & Rail industry average. The net income increased by 27.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $12.43 million to $15.87 million.
  • HTLD has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.36, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Road & Rail industry and the overall market, HEARTLAND EXPRESS INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • HEARTLAND EXPRESS INC has improved earnings per share by 35.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HEARTLAND EXPRESS INC reported lower earnings of $0.71 versus $0.78 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.85 versus $0.71).

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