Werner Enterprises (WERN) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ:WERN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Werner Enterprises has been benefiting from robust growth in its truckload segment. Notably, truckload revenues, which contribute to the majority of the top line, grew 15% in 2018. The company’s focus on improving its operational efficiency through investments in new trucks and trailers is laudable. To this end, it aims at maintaining a relatively young fleet of trucks and trailers compared with those of its counterparts. Additionally, Werner Enterprises’ measures to reward shareholders through dividends and share buybacks are impressive. Its low leverage ratio is another positive. However, the company’s high operating expenses might hamper bottom-line growth in the first quarter of 2019. Detailed results will be available on Apr 25. Werner's high capital expenses might further dent the bottom line. Moreover, weakness in the truckload freight environment compared to the year ago period might affect its first-quarter results. “

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Seaport Global Securities restated a neutral rating on shares of Werner Enterprises in a research note on Thursday, February 7th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Werner Enterprises from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, March 11th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Werner Enterprises from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, March 15th. Finally, UBS Group downgraded shares of Werner Enterprises from a buy rating to a neutral rating and lowered their target price for the company from $42.00 to $36.00 in a research note on Tuesday, December 4th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. Werner Enterprises has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $41.29.

NASDAQ WERN opened at $34.78 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.04, a quick ratio of 1.44 and a current ratio of 1.47. Werner Enterprises has a 52-week low of $28.67 and a 52-week high of $42.80. The company has a market cap of $2.45 billion, a PE ratio of 14.61, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.90 and a beta of 1.26.

Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ:WERN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 6th. The transportation company reported $0.75 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.07. Werner Enterprises had a net margin of 6.84% and a return on equity of 14.00%. The firm had revenue of $646.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $649.70 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.42 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Werner Enterprises will post 2.62 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, May 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 15th will be paid a $0.09 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, April 12th. This represents a $0.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.04%. Werner Enterprises’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 15.13%.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL raised its holdings in shares of Werner Enterprises by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 23,900 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $706,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans raised its holdings in shares of Werner Enterprises by 4.3% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 11,280 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $333,000 after buying an additional 470 shares during the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Werner Enterprises by 81.6% in the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,262 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $37,000 after buying an additional 567 shares during the last quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc raised its holdings in shares of Werner Enterprises by 150.0% in the fourth quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc now owns 1,000 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $30,000 after buying an additional 600 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB raised its holdings in shares of Werner Enterprises by 12.3% in the fourth quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 8,230 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $243,000 after buying an additional 900 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 68.51% of the company’s stock.

About Werner Enterprises

Werner Enterprises, Inc, a transportation and logistics company, engages in transporting truckload shipments of general commodities in interstate and intrastate commerce in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and China. It operates in two segments, Truckload Transportation Services and Werner Logistics.

Further Reading: Why is cost of goods sold important?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Werner Enterprises (WERN)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ:WERN)

Receive News & Ratings for Werner Enterprises Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Werner Enterprises and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.