J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:JBHT) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:JBHT) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Tuesday, August 1st.

According to Zacks, “J.B. Hunt’s efforts to reward shareholders is impressive. During the second quarter, the company repurchased approximately 564,000 shares for $50 million. Revenues in the quarter improved 6.93% year over year. The intermodal segment which accounted for 57.9% of the top line in the second quarter rose 7% year over year. The company expects intermodal growth in 2017 to be driven by the increase in transloads, addition of new customers among others. However, the company reported lower-than-expected earnings per share and revenues in the second quarter of 2017. The bottom line also dipped 4.35% on a year-over-year basis due to higher operating expenses. Lower customer rates also hurt results. J.B. Hunt is a highly leveraged company and its high debt levels also raise concerns. Shares of J.B. Hunt have underperformed its industry over the last one year. “

JBHT has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Bank of America Corporation restated a buy rating and issued a $109.00 price target (up previously from $98.00) on shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services in a research report on Monday, July 10th. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their target price on shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services from $90.00 to $110.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated an outperform rating and set a $105.00 target price (up previously from $100.00) on shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services in a research report on Tuesday, July 18th. Vertical Research began coverage on shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services in a research report on Thursday, April 13th. They set a hold rating and a $92.00 target price on the stock. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $98.73.

Shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ JBHT) opened at 96.63 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.35 and a beta of 0.94. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $92.51 and its 200 day moving average price is $91.93. J.B. Hunt Transport Services has a 52 week low of $76.20 and a 52 week high of $102.38.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 17th. The transportation company reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $1.73 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.74 billion. J.B. Hunt Transport Services had a return on equity of 30.00% and a net margin of 6.32%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.92 EPS. On average, analysts predict that J.B. Hunt Transport Services will post $3.88 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 18th. Investors of record on Monday, August 7th were given a dividend of $0.23 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 3rd. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.95%. J.B. Hunt Transport Services’s payout ratio is currently 24.08%.

In other J.B. Hunt Transport Services news, CFO David G. Mee sold 10,767 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.29, for a total transaction of $982,919.43. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 109,500 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,996,255. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Shelley Simpson sold 3,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.05, for a total transaction of $359,085.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 55,944 shares in the company, valued at $5,429,365.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 37,148 shares of company stock valued at $3,433,555. 4.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC increased its stake in J.B. Hunt Transport Services by 5.2% in the first quarter. Oliver Luxxe Assets LLC now owns 8,881 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $815,000 after buying an additional 435 shares during the period. Arvest Bank Trust Division purchased a new stake in shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services during the first quarter worth about $445,000. Atria Investments LLC increased its stake in shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services by 5.8% in the first quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 6,931 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $636,000 after buying an additional 383 shares during the last quarter. Private Trust Co. NA purchased a new stake in shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services during the first quarter worth about $601,000. Finally, Capstone Asset Management Co. increased its stake in shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services by 50.1% in the first quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 17,978 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $1,649,000 after buying an additional 6,000 shares during the last quarter. 73.14% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Company Profile

J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc is a surface transportation, delivery, and logistics company in North America. The Company segments include Intermodal (JBI), Dedicated Contract Services (DCS), Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS) and Truck (JBT). The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides transportation and delivery services to a range of customers and consumers throughout the continental United States, Canada and Mexico.

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Analyst Recommendations for J.B. Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT)

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