Keep on Trucking at TravelCenters

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- When I travel back and forth between Tampa Bay and the New York City area, I keep an eye on the number of trucks on the highways and like to stop along the way where the truckers do, TravelCenters of America ( TA). During my last trip in mid-August, I wrote Buy TravelCenters as the Economy Improves.

TravelCenters ($8) had a strong buy rating when I thought the stock had some upside for a buy-and-trade strategy as a proxy for the transportation sector, where 72.4% of the 181 stocks are rated sell or strong sell.

TravelCenters stock closed at $7.57 on Aug. 13 and continued to move sideways to down to $7.35 on Aug. 27. The stock is in the retail-wholesale sector and is now rated buy according to ValuEngine. The 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio remains at 7.8, and the stock trades at 71% of its book value.

The stock tested its 200-day simple moving average at $8.57 on Tuesday, up about 16% off the recent low. ValuEngine one-year price target is $8.60. My semiannual value level is $7.18 with a quarterly pivot, now a magnet at $8.04 and my semiannual risky level at $9.32.

Today I am profiling 14 stocks in the trucking industry. One is rated a strong buy, one is rated hold and 12 are rated sell. Only two are undervalued and eight are overvalued by more than 20%. Nine have gained more than 40% over the last 12 months with three of these up between 124.2% and 228.1%. Twelve-month trailing P/E ratios are elevated between 16 and 26.8. Thirteen are above their 200-day simple moving averages reflecting the risk of reversion to the mean.

Reading the Table

OV / UN Valued - The stocks with a red number are undervalued by this percentage. Those with a black number are overvalued by that percentage according to ValuEngine.

VE Rating - A "1-Engine" rating is a Strong Sell, a "2-Engine" rating is a Sell, a "3-Engine" rating is a Hold, a "4-Engine" rating is a Buy and a "5-Engine" rating is a Strong Buy.

Last 12-Month Return (%) - Stocks with a Red number declined by that percentage over the last twelve months. Stocks with a Black number increased by that percentage.

Forecast 1-Year Return - Stocks with a Red number are projected to decline by that percentage over the next twelve months. Stocks with a Black number in the Table are projected to move higher by that percentage over the next twelve months.

Value Level: is the price at which to enter a GTC Limit Order to buy on weakness. The letters mean; W-Weekly, M-Monthly, Q-Quarterly, S-Semiannual and A- Annual.

Pivot: A level between a value level and risky level that should be a magnet during the time frame noted.

Risky Level: is the price at which to enter a GTC Limit Order to sell on strength.

Arkansas Best ( ABFS) ($27.79) set a new multiyear high at $27.81 on Sept. 11. My monthly value level is $25.51 with an annual pivot at $26.86 and no risky levels.

Celadon Group ( CGI) ($18.82) tested its 200-day SMA at $19.06 but closed below it. My quarterly value level is $18.07 with a monthly pivot at $20.05 and annual risky level at $25.25.

Con-Way Inc ( CNW) ($44.37) set a multiyear high at $46.52 on Aug. 2 and traded down to $41.49 on Sept. 3 holding its 50-day SMA. My semiannual value level is $41.77 was tested at the low. My monthly risky level is $47.11.

Heartland Express ( HTLD) ($14.35) set a multiyear high at $15.09 on Aug. 1 and traded down to $13.87 on Aug. 30. My annual value level is $12.54 with a semiannual pivot at $14.57 and annual risky level at $18.14.

JB Hunt Transport ( JBHT) ($74.50) set its multiyear high at $78.39 on Aug. 1 and traded down to $71.26 on Sept. 3. My semiannual value level at $72.05 held at the low with a monthly risky level at $84.14.

Knight Transportation ( KNX) ($16.87) set a multiyear high at $17.73 on May 22, and then fell to $16.10 on Sept. 4, holding its 200-day SMA. My quarterly value level is $14.40 with an annual pivot at $17.32 and semiannual risky level at $17.99.

Landstar System ( LSTR) ($57.20) set a 2013 low at $50.39 on June 26 and then traded as high as $57.94 on Sept. 11. My quarterly value level is $55.02 with a semiannual pivot at $57.42, which was tested on Wednesday and annual risky level at $64.85.

Marten Transport ( MRTN) ($17.44) set a multiyear high at $18.62 on Aug. 22 and traded down to $17.05 on Sept. 6 holding its 50-day SMA. My quarterly value level is $15.29 with a semiannual pivot at $17.17, which was tested at the low and annual risky level at $21.26.

Old Dominion ( ODFL) ($46.43) set a multiyear high at $46.48 on Sept. 11. My semiannual value level is $40.38 with a monthly risky level at $46.87.

Roadrunner ( RRTS) ($27.63) set a multiyear high at $30.98 on Aug. 1 and traded down to $26.38 on Aug. 14. My quarterly value level is $23.83 with a monthly risky level at $32.62.

Saia Inc ( SAIA) ($32.81) set a multiyear high at $34.97 on July 11 and traded down to $27.95 on Aug. 15. My quarterly value level is $27.78 with a monthly risky level at $44.19.

Swift Transport ( SWFT) ($20.15) set a multiyear high at $20.30 on Sept. 11. My annual value level is $15.85 with a monthly risky level at $22.55.

Universal Truckload ( UACL) ($28.19) set a multiyear high at $29.99 on July 30 and then traded down to $23.45 on Aug. 16. My semiannual value level is $20.98 with a monthly risky level at $28.95.

Werner Enterprises ( WERN) ($24.35) set a multiyear high at $25.44 on May 22 and traded down to $22.89 on Sept. 3. My annual value level is $21.04 with a monthly pivot at $25.68 and semiannual risky level at $27.96.

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Richard Suttmeier has an engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a master of science from Brooklyn Poly. He began his career in the financial services industry in 1972 trading U.S. Treasury securities in the primary dealer community. In 1981 he formed the Government Bond Department at LF Rothschild and helped establish that firm as a primary dealer in 1986. Richard began writing market research in 1984 and held positions as market strategist at firms such as Smith Barney, William R Hough, Joseph Stevens, and Rightside Advisors. He joined www.ValuEngine.com in 2008 producing newsletters covering the U.S. capital markets, and a universe of more than 7,000 stocks. Richard employs a "buy and trade" investment strategy and can be reached at RSuttmeier@Gmail.com.

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