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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified

Heartland Express

(

HTLD

) as a strong on high relative volume 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 $11.8 million.
  • HTLD has traded 74,890 shares today.
  • HTLD is trading at 4.07 times the normal volume for the stock at this time of day.
  • HTLD is trading at a new high 4.00% above yesterday's close.

'Strong on High Relative Volume' stocks are worth watching because major volume moves tend to indicate underlying activity such as M&A events, material stock news, analyst upgrades, insider buying, buying from 'superinvestors,' or that hedge funds and momentum traders are piling into a stock ahead of a catalyst. Regardless of the impetus behind the price and volume action, when a stock moves with strength and volume it can indicate the start of a new trend on which early investors can capitalize. In the event of a well-timed trading opportunity, combining technical indicators with fundamental trends and a disciplined trading methodology should help you take the first steps towards investment success.

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More details on HTLD:

Heartland Express, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a short-to-medium haul truckload carrier of general commodities in the United States and Canada. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 0.4%. HTLD has a PE ratio of 19. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Heartland Express a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Heartland Express has been 532,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Heartland Express has a market cap of $1.7 billion and is part of the services sector and transportation industry. The stock has a beta of 0.59 and a short float of 8.9% with 7.92 days to cover. Shares are down 26% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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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 compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Road & Rail industry. The net income increased by 25.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $14.08 million to $17.61 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. To add to this, HTLD has a quick ratio of 1.59, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 74.09% to $55.69 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, HEARTLAND EXPRESS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 5.68%.
  • 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 on the basis of return on equity, HEARTLAND EXPRESS INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • HEARTLAND EXPRESS INC has improved earnings per share by 25.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HEARTLAND EXPRESS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.97 versus $0.83 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 1.0% in earnings ($0.96 versus $0.97).

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