Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Marten Transport, Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRTN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Marten Transport, Ltd. is a long-haul truckload carrier providing protective service and time- sensitive transportation. Protective service transportation means temperature controlled or insulated carriage of temperature-sensitive materials and general commodities. “

MRTN has been the subject of a number of other research reports. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Marten Transport from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Stifel Nicolaus set a $15.00 target price on shares of Marten Transport and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of Marten Transport from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, August 25th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. Marten Transport currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $17.50.

Marten Transport (NASDAQ MRTN) opened at 18.00 on Wednesday. The company’s 50 day moving average is $16.34 and its 200-day moving average is $15.33. Marten Transport has a 1-year low of $11.22 and a 1-year high of $18.00. The firm has a market cap of $981.22 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.94 and a beta of 1.27.

Marten Transport (NASDAQ:MRTN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The transportation company reported $0.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.15 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $171.51 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $176.08 million. Marten Transport had a net margin of 4.96% and a return on equity of 7.72%. Marten Transport’s quarterly revenue was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.26 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Marten Transport will post $0.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.025 per share. This represents a $0.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.56%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This is a boost from Marten Transport’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.02. Marten Transport’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 9.58%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Wellington Management Group LLP lifted its stake in shares of Marten Transport by 14.7% during the 1st quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 1,841,229 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $43,177,000 after buying an additional 235,974 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Marten Transport by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,261,440 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $34,563,000 after buying an additional 28,574 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in shares of Marten Transport by 7.4% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,232,898 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $33,782,000 after buying an additional 84,766 shares during the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Marten Transport by 46.1% during the 2nd quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 980,124 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $26,856,000 after buying an additional 309,413 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Granite Investment Partners LLC lifted its stake in shares of Marten Transport by 71.2% during the 2nd quarter. Granite Investment Partners LLC now owns 795,922 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $13,085,000 after buying an additional 331,098 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 42.36% of the company’s stock.

About Marten Transport

Marten Transport, Ltd. is a temperature-sensitive truckload carrier. The Company focuses on transporting and distributing food and other consumer-packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. The Company operates through four segments: Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal and Brokerage.

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