J B Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Shares of J.B. Hunt have outperformed its industry over the last month. We are impressed by volumes growth at the company's primary division — intermodal. Its efforts to reward shareholders through dividend payments and buybacks are encouraging as well. Moreover, the new tax law (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act), which reduces corporate tax rate significantly, is an added positive. This, in turn, might have contributed to the 4.3% dividend hike announced by the company in January. In fact, in 2018, effective tax rate is projected to come down to approximately 25% from 37.9% in 2017. However, J.B. Hunt’s high operating expenses and escalated debt levels pose a threat to bottom-line growth. The company's capex forecast for 2018 is $630 million. This is substantially higher than the 2017 figure of $511 million.”
A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub upgraded J B Hunt Transport Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, February 10th. Citigroup lifted their target price on J B Hunt Transport Services to $120.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Credit Suisse Group lifted their target price on J B Hunt Transport Services from $129.00 to $131.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. Cowen restated a “market perform” rating and issued a $124.00 target price (down from $127.00) on shares of J B Hunt Transport Services in a report on Monday, January 29th. Finally, Stephens restated a “buy” rating and issued a $140.00 target price on shares of J B Hunt Transport Services in a report on Friday, January 19th. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. J B Hunt Transport Services has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $118.89.
J B Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The transportation company reported $3.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.03 by $2.45. J B Hunt Transport Services had a return on equity of 27.32% and a net margin of 9.55%. The company had revenue of $1.99 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.93 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.05 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.6% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that J B Hunt Transport Services will post 5.27 EPS for the current year.
In other news, Director Earl Wayne Garrison sold 21,344 shares of J B Hunt Transport Services stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $125.79, for a total transaction of $2,684,861.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Johnnie B. Hunt, Jr. sold 2,328 shares of J B Hunt Transport Services stock in a transaction on Friday, March 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.00, for a total value of $281,688.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 70,697 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,554,337. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 4.30% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Assetmark Inc. boosted its position in J B Hunt Transport Services by 422.9% during the fourth quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 1,574 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $181,000 after purchasing an additional 1,273 shares during the last quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. acquired a new stake in J B Hunt Transport Services during the third quarter valued at $211,000. Capital Investment Counsel Inc acquired a new stake in J B Hunt Transport Services during the third quarter valued at $222,000. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its position in J B Hunt Transport Services by 2,190.7% during the fourth quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,222 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $255,000 after purchasing an additional 2,125 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Driehaus Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in J B Hunt Transport Services during the fourth quarter valued at $276,000. 72.19% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About J B Hunt Transport Services
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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