J B Hunt Transport Services (JBHT) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of J B Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of J.B. Hunt have declined more than 18% in a year's time due to numerous headwinds. Increased driver wages are pushing up operating expenses, which in turn, are hampering the company’s bottom-line growth. Notably, operating expenses increased 20.8% to $7.9 billion in 2018. Additionally, high capital expenditures are driving costs. Also, deterioration in operating ratio, a key measure of efficiency, mainly due to high operating expenses is concerning. Further J.B. Hunt's high debt load raises a concern. The negativity surrounding the stock is evident from the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 2.4% downward in the last 90 days. However, we are impressed by J.B. Hunt's decision, announced this January, to hike its quarterly dividend by 8.3%. Moreover, the company's acquisition of New Jersey-based home-delivery firm is another positive.”

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on JBHT. BidaskClub raised shares of J B Hunt Transport Services from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. Deutsche Bank set a $125.00 target price on shares of J B Hunt Transport Services and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, February 14th. Stifel Nicolaus set a $113.00 target price on shares of J B Hunt Transport Services and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Friday, January 18th. UBS Group decreased their target price on shares of J B Hunt Transport Services from $145.00 to $124.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, December 4th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of J B Hunt Transport Services from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, March 20th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $122.15.

J B Hunt Transport Services stock opened at $96.59 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a quick ratio of 1.10 and a current ratio of 1.11. The company has a market cap of $10.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.17, a PEG ratio of 1.31 and a beta of 1.14. J B Hunt Transport Services has a 1-year low of $88.38 and a 1-year high of $131.74.

J B Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 17th. The transportation company reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.48 by ($0.67). The firm had revenue of $2.32 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.29 billion. J B Hunt Transport Services had a return on equity of 30.72% and a net margin of 5.68%. The business’s revenue was up 16.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.87 EPS. Research analysts expect that J B Hunt Transport Services will post 6.23 EPS for the current year.

In other J B Hunt Transport Services news, EVP Nicholas Hobbs sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $112.04, for a total value of $336,120.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, COO Alfred C. Harper sold 7,100 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.87, for a total transaction of $751,677.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 16,756 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,773,957.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 12,986 shares of company stock valued at $1,402,544. Corporate insiders own 3.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. CWM LLC boosted its stake in shares of J B Hunt Transport Services by 59.5% in the 4th quarter. CWM LLC now owns 276 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $26,000 after purchasing an additional 103 shares in the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of J B Hunt Transport Services by 72.6% in the 4th quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 302 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $28,000 after purchasing an additional 127 shares in the last quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. boosted its stake in shares of J B Hunt Transport Services by 116.0% in the 4th quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. now owns 337 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $31,000 after purchasing an additional 181 shares in the last quarter. Exane Asset Management purchased a new stake in shares of J B Hunt Transport Services in the 4th quarter valued at $41,000. Finally, Heritage Trust Co boosted its stake in shares of J B Hunt Transport Services by 289.2% in the 4th quarter. Heritage Trust Co now owns 864 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $80,000 after purchasing an additional 642 shares in the last quarter. 72.39% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

J B Hunt Transport Services Company Profile

J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc engages in the provision of logistics solutions. It operates through the following segments: Intermodal (JBI), Dedicated Contract Services (DCS), Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS), and Truckload (JBT). The JBI segment offers intermodal freight operations for rail carriers.

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