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Wunderlich Transfers Coverage, Upgrades JB Hunt, Saia, Downgrades Con-way, Knight Transportation

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Wunderlich's sector-wide coverage of the Transportation group was transferred to analyst Nicholas Bender Wednesday morning. As such, the analyst revised ratings on several companies within the space.

The investment recommendations on the following names were raised from Hold to Buy:

  • JB Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) - Target raised from $83 to $89. Following headwinds in 2013, Bender has now turned to operating margin which looks "poised to expand for both the intermodal (JBI) and dedicated (DCS) segments in FY14, and a December 2013 management shake-up at JBT should allow the company to benefit from improving TL fundamentals."
  • Saia (NASDAQ: SAIA) - Target from $32 to $40. "By focusing on internal processes, Saia has transformed itself from a middling LTL player to one of the best earnings growth stories in transportation," according to Bender.

Wunderlich's recommendations were lowered from Buy to Hold for:

  • Knight Transportation (NYSE: KNX) - Target raised from $23 to $25. Bender highlighted a "strong" fourth quarter and "optimistic" outlook." He believes "The improvement in the freight market was supported by commentary from other carriers, and thus we expect the core business to continue performing even while management searches for a tuck-in transaction."
  • Con-way (NYSE: CNW) - Target lowered from $49 to $40. The Wunderlich analyst sees "challenging winter weather" as a possible overhang moving into the first quarter. He warned "operational hiccups" are inhibiting results.

Coverage was also transferred on several other stocks, however, the firm's ratings were note changed.

  • Swift Transportation (NASDAQ: SWFT) - Buy rated, $30 target.
  • Kirby Corp. (NYSE: KEX) - Buy, $120 target.
  • Marten Transport (NASDAQ: MRTN) - Buy, $23 target.
  • PAM Transportation (NASDAQ: PTSI) - Buy, $24 target.
  • Celadon Group (NYS:E CGI) - Buy, $26 target.
  • Old Dominion Freight (NASDAQ: ODFL) - Hold, $57 target.

Latest Ratings for JBHT

DateFirmActionFromTo
May 2020BairdUpgradesNeutralOutperform
Apr 2020Argus ResearchUpgradesHoldBuy
Apr 2020Morgan StanleyMaintainsEqual-Weight

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