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Marten Transport Has Limited Downside, Fair Valuation, Stifel Says In Upgrade

Marten Transport Has Limited Downside, Fair Valuation, Stifel Says In Upgrade
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Shares of truckload carrier Marten Transport, Ltd (NASDAQ: MRTN) — which operates in the U.S., Canada and Mexico — have come under pressure since its July 17 second-quarter print. 

The Analyst

Stifel analyst David Ross upgraded Marten from Sell to Hold and maintained a $21 price target.

The Thesis

Marten is witnessing solid overall demand and improved pricing as it diversifies its core business away from long-haul OTR to become "a more comprehensive provider of driver-friendly, dedicated, cost-effective intermodal and asset-light brokerage services," Ross said in a Tuesday note.

Stifel expects Marten to continue to focus on its dedicated fleet, as its limited pool of qualified truck drivers are attracted to these more driver-friendly lines, the analyst said. 

Citing better-than-expected Q2 earnings, Stifel said it has increased its estimates for the company.

Despite Marten's solid operations, with a stakeholder-friendly culture and clean balance sheet, Stifel views the valuation as fair.

"With limited downside from here and going into what we believe to be a strong fall freight season, we are stepping back to the sidelines with respect to MRTN." 

Stifel's $21 price target is based on 18.5 times its 2019 EPS estimate of $1.15.

The Price Action

Marten shares have gained about 8 percent year-to-date.

Related Links:

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Covenant Transportation Beats Estimates In 'Strong' Freight Market, Stifel Says In Upgrade

Photo courtesy of Marten Transport. 

Latest Ratings for MRTN

Aug 2018Stifel NicolausUpgradesSellHold
Jul 2018Stifel NicolausDowngradesHoldSell
Apr 2018Stifel NicolausReinstatesHold

View More Analyst Ratings for MRTN
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: David Ross StifelAnalyst Color Upgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga


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