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Will Heartland Express (HTLD) Gain on Rising Earnings Estimates?

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Investors might want to bet on Heartland Express (HTLD - Free Report) , as earnings estimates for this company have been showing solid improvement lately. The stock has already gained solid short-term price momentum, and this trend might continue with its still improving earnings outlook.

The rising trend in estimate revisions, which is a result of growing analyst optimism on the earnings prospects of this trucking and logistics company, should get reflected in its stock price. After all, empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements. Our stock rating tool -- the Zacks Rank -- has this insight at its core.

The five-grade Zacks Rank system, which ranges from a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record of outperformance, with Zacks #1 Ranked stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 2008.

For Heartland Express, there has been strong agreement among the covering analysts in raising earnings estimates, which has helped push consensus estimates considerably higher for the next quarter and full year.

Current-Quarter Estimate Revisions

The company is expected to earn $0.29 per share for the current quarter, which represents a year-over-year change of -6.45%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Heartland Express has increased 8.57% over the last 30 days, as three estimates have gone higher compared to no negative revisions.

Current-Year Estimate Revisions

The company is expected to earn $1.34 per share for the full year, which represents a change of +34% from the prior-year number.

In terms of estimate revisions, the trend for the current year also appears quite encouraging for Heartland Express. Over the past month, three estimates have moved higher compared to no negative revisions, helping the consensus estimate increase 39.32%.

Favorable Zacks Rank

The promising estimate revisions have helped Heartland Express earn a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The Zacks Rank is a tried-and-tested rating tool that helps investors effectively harness the power of earnings estimate revisions and make the right investment decision. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Our research shows that stocks with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and 2 (Buy) significantly outperform the S&P 500.

Bottom Line

Investors have been betting on Heartland Express because of its solid estimate revisions, as evident from the stock's 12.2% gain over the past four weeks. As its earnings growth prospects might push the stock higher, you may consider adding it to your portfolio right away.


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