Werner Enterprises, Inc. (WERN) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Werner Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:WERN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Wednesday. The firm currently has $35.00 price target on the transportation company’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Werner Enterprises, Inc. is a transportation company primarily engaged in hauling truckload shipments of general commodities in both interstate and intrastate commerce. The Company operates throughout the 48 contiguous states pursuant to operating authority, both common and contract, granted by the Department of Transportation and pursuant to intrastate authority granted by various states. They also have authority to operate in the ten provinces of Canada and have through trailer service in and out of Mexico. “
Several other research firms have also commented on WERN. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an overweight rating and set a $32.00 price objective (up from $30.00) on shares of Werner Enterprises in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. BidaskClub raised shares of Werner Enterprises from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. Buckingham Research began coverage on shares of Werner Enterprises in a research note on Monday, August 21st. They set a buy rating and a $36.00 price objective for the company. Stephens raised shares of Werner Enterprises from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $30.00 to $36.00 in a research note on Monday, August 14th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $32.00 price objective (up from $25.00) on shares of Werner Enterprises in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $30.83.
Shares of Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ:WERN) opened at 31.80 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.30 billion, a PE ratio of 28.91 and a beta of 0.88. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $30.12 and its 200 day moving average is $28.03. Werner Enterprises has a 52-week low of $21.45 and a 52-week high of $32.45.
Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ:WERN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, July 24th. The transportation company reported $0.32 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.27 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $519.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $521.63 million. Werner Enterprises had a net margin of 3.90% and a return on equity of 7.97%. Werner Enterprises’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.25 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Werner Enterprises will post $1.23 EPS for the current year.
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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 17th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.07 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 29th. This represents a $0.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.88%. Werner Enterprises’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 25.45%.
In related news, CEO Derek J. Leathers sold 12,756 shares of Werner Enterprises stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.00, for a total value of $382,680.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 241,536 shares in the company, valued at $7,246,080. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Jim S. Schelble sold 7,494 shares of Werner Enterprises stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.50, for a total value of $221,073.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 55,300 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,631,350. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 39,994 shares of company stock valued at $1,197,593. Corporate insiders own 34.80% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WERN. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Werner Enterprises by 3.7% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 5,451,128 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $159,992,000 after buying an additional 194,294 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Werner Enterprises by 2.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,736,977 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $139,031,000 after buying an additional 119,913 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Werner Enterprises by 0.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,663,764 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $107,531,000 after buying an additional 19,431 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in Werner Enterprises by 13.3% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,642,586 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $106,910,000 after buying an additional 426,376 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fairpointe Capital LLC increased its stake in Werner Enterprises by 1.3% in the second quarter. Fairpointe Capital LLC now owns 3,220,554 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $94,523,000 after buying an additional 42,343 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.34% of the company’s stock.
About Werner Enterprises
Werner Enterprises, Inc is a transportation and logistics company. The Company is engaged in transporting truckload shipments of general commodities in both interstate and intrastate commerce. It operates through two segments: Truckload and Werner Logistics. It provides logistics services through its Werner Logistics division.
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