Zacks Investment Research cut shares of J B Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “We are impressed by J.B. Hunt's decision, announced in January 2019, to hike its quarterly dividend by 8.3%. Moreover, the company performed impressively in the fourth quarter of 2018, delivering better-than-expected earnings per share and revenues. The top line also expanded year over year. J.B. Hunt’s results were driven by robust performances at its key segments. We are positive on its decision, also announced in January, to buy a New Jersey-based home-delivery firm for $100 million. On the flip side, high operating expenses due to increased driver wages are limiting bottom-line growth. High capital expenditures are also pushing up costs. Deterioration of fourth-quarter operating ratio due to rise in operating expenses is also worrisome.  Its high debt levels are concerning as well. In fact, shares of the company have declined more than 5% in a year's time.”

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on JBHT. Stifel Nicolaus set a $113.00 price objective on shares of J B Hunt Transport Services and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Friday, January 18th. Cowen reissued a market perform rating and set a $122.00 price objective (down from $129.00) on shares of J B Hunt Transport Services in a research report on Friday, January 18th. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price objective on shares of J B Hunt Transport Services from $148.00 to $121.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, January 15th. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on shares of J B Hunt Transport Services from $118.00 to $113.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, January 7th. Finally, Stephens set a $118.00 target price on shares of J B Hunt Transport Services and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, December 14th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. J B Hunt Transport Services currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $124.79.

NASDAQ JBHT opened at $109.28 on Thursday. J B Hunt Transport Services has a 52-week low of $88.38 and a 52-week high of $131.74. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 1.11 and a quick ratio of 1.11. The stock has a market cap of $11.88 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.27, a P/E/G ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 1.10.

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 consensus estimate of $1.48 by ($0.67). The business had revenue of $2.32 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.29 billion. J B Hunt Transport Services had a return on equity of 30.72% and a net margin of 5.68%. J B Hunt Transport Services’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.87 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that J B Hunt Transport Services will post 6.26 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 22nd. Investors of record on Friday, February 8th will be paid a $0.26 dividend. This is a boost from J B Hunt Transport Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.24. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 7th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.95%. J B Hunt Transport Services’s payout ratio is presently 18.34%.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vident Investment Advisory LLC boosted its stake in J B Hunt Transport Services by 16.6% in the 3rd quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC now owns 4,460 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $531,000 after purchasing an additional 635 shares in the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC boosted its stake in J B Hunt Transport Services by 318.1% in the 2nd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 22,538 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $2,739,000 after purchasing an additional 17,147 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its stake in J B Hunt Transport Services by 1.3% in the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 445,961 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $53,043,000 after purchasing an additional 5,818 shares in the last quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc boosted its stake in J B Hunt Transport Services by 13.7% in the 3rd quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc now owns 22,812 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $2,713,000 after purchasing an additional 2,751 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Stevens Capital Management LP bought a new position in J B Hunt Transport Services in the 3rd quarter worth about $7,834,000. Institutional investors own 74.89% of the company’s stock.

J B Hunt Transport Services Company Profile

J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides surface transportation and delivery services in the continental United States, Canada, and Mexico. It operates through four segments: Intermodal (JBI), Dedicated Contract Services (DCS), Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS), and Truckload (JBT).

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

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