J.B. Hunt Shares Transported Lower as Bernstein Pares Rating to Market Perform

Bernstein sees a bumpy road in the near term for the freight-transport-services provider.
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J.B. Hunt Transport  (JBHT) - Get Report shares are lower Monday after analysts at Bernstein downgraded the freight transport provider on expectations of near-term headwinds.

Bernstein pared its rating on the Lowell, Ark., company to market perform from outperform. 

The firm's $124 price target puts it ahead of the Street’s $113 consensus estimate. The
Bernstein price target represents 6% potential upside from the stock’s Friday closing price of $117.03.

The firm sees near-term intermodal growth as a tougher challenge in the new year than it was in 2019 “due to the softness of the freight market.”

The World Trade Organization reported that world exports and imports fell by 2.7% and 3.1% respectively in the first quarter of 2019. 

Some of the factors weighing on global-transport trends include environmental concerns surrounding pollution and climate change; and geopolitical concern about U.S.-China and U.S.-Iran tensions.

Against this backdrop, J.B. Hunt is expected to report lower fourth-quarter earnings when it releases its report before the market opens on Jan. 17.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet are expecting the company to report earnings of $1.54 a share on revenue of $2.46 billion. A year earlier the company earned $1.78 a share.

The company has missed earnings estimates in two of the past four quarters.

At last check J.B. Hunt shares were off 2.1% at $114.62.

The iShares Transportation Average ETF, which aims to track the investment results of the Dow Jones Transportation Average, is down 1% to $193.75 on Monday.