Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Marten Transport (NASDAQ:MRTN) to Hold

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Marten Transport (NASDAQ:MRTN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday, September 19th.

According to Zacks, “Marten Transport, Ltd. is a long-haul truckload carrier providing protective service and time- sensitive transportation in the United States. The company specializes in transporting and distributing food and other consumer packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. Marten operates through these featured services – Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal and Brokerage. Marten Transport offers service in the United States, Canada and Mexico, concentrating on expedited movements for high-volume customers. Marten’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol MRTN and is headquartered in Mondovi, Wisconsin. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Marten Transport from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, September 14th. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Marten Transport from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $21.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Marten Transport has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $25.50.

MRTN stock traded down $0.25 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $19.26. 288,987 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 318,208. The stock has a market cap of $1.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.06 and a beta of 1.39. Marten Transport has a 52-week low of $17.50 and a 52-week high of $29.60.

Marten Transport (NASDAQ:MRTN) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 20th. The transportation company reported $0.25 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.03. Marten Transport had a return on equity of 7.82% and a net margin of 13.15%. The firm had revenue of $197.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $193.90 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.17 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 14.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts predict that Marten Transport will post 0.98 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 28th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 14th were paid a $0.025 dividend. This represents a $0.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.52%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 13th. Marten Transport’s dividend payout ratio is currently 16.13%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MRTN. KAMES CAPITAL plc increased its holdings in shares of Marten Transport by 15.1% in the third quarter. KAMES CAPITAL plc now owns 353,716 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $7,446,000 after purchasing an additional 46,480 shares during the period. Atria Investments LLC increased its holdings in shares of Marten Transport by 31.4% in the third quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 12,337 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $260,000 after purchasing an additional 2,948 shares during the period. United Services Automobile Association increased its holdings in shares of Marten Transport by 33.4% in the second quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 14,460 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $339,000 after purchasing an additional 3,620 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in shares of Marten Transport by 7.7% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 987,120 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $23,148,000 after purchasing an additional 70,744 shares during the period. Finally, Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its holdings in shares of Marten Transport by 1,765.1% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 47,785 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $1,121,000 after purchasing an additional 45,223 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 71.05% of the company’s stock.

About Marten Transport

Marten Transport, Ltd. operates as a temperature-sensitive truckload carrier for shippers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It operates through four segments: Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal, and Brokerage. The Truckload segment transports food and other consumer packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment.

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