UPDATE: KeyBanc Upgrades Heartland Express to Buy, Names $16 PT on Expansion Opportunities
In a report published Monday, KeyBanc upgraded its rating on Heartland Express (NASDAQ: HTLD) from Hold to Buy, and named a $16.00 price target.
KeyBanc noted, “We view HTLD as the best run public truckload carrier, favorably positioned given its premium service capabilities, superior safety performance, and operational focus supporting industry-leading margins. Further, company-specific fleet expansion opportunities in Western markets could re-accelerate top-line growth into 2013, while a relatively young fleet and above-market driver pay mitigates driver pay headwinds. Combined with its pristine balance sheet supporting potential acquisitions and share repurchases (not contemplated in our estimates), as well as special dividends, we expect above-average earnings growth and returns over the intermediate term. With current valuation multiples near five-year lows, we believe current risk/reward is attractive, particularly in the context of our more constructive truckload outlook.”
Heartland Express closed on Friday at $13.89.
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