J.B. Hunt Transport Services faced a setback in its quarterly earnings, causing its shares to tumble. However, analysts are urging investors to exercise patience and remain optimistic about the future of the trucking and logistics company.
In its recent report, J.B. Hunt (ticker: JBHT) revealed third-quarter earnings of $1.80 per share, falling short of analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.83 according to FactSet. The company also reported revenue of $3.16 billion, failing to meet expectations. This decline can be attributed to an 18% drop in revenue per load within its intermodal and truckload segments compared to the same period last year.
As a result of these disappointing figures, shares fell by 7% to $182.35.
Analysts from Evercore ISI, led by Jonathan Chappell, acknowledged that although J.B. Hunt is focused on improving service, gaining market share, and enhancing revenue quality, external factors are impeding near-term progress in terms of volumes, pricing, and margins. The Evercore team reduced their earnings forecasts and scaled down their target stock price from $205 to $200. However, they highlighted the company’s resilience during this challenging period and maintained their Outperform rating.
Raymond James analysts Patrick Tyler Brown and David Hicks, who also rate the shares as Outperform, echoed this sentiment. They emphasized J.B. Hunt’s commitment to delivering value and projected it to emerge as a victor once the freight economy stabilizes. As a result, they adjusted their earnings estimates and lowered the price target to $200.
Meanwhile, Benchmark analyst Christopher Kuhn, a strong believer in the company’s potential, rates the shares as Buy with a price target of $200. He emphasized the diverse business model and secular growth drivers across multiple segments that can contribute to sustained earnings growth in the long term.
While J.B. Hunt currently faces challenges, industry experts remain optimistic about its ability to regain momentum. As the company continues to focus on enhancing its operations, investors are advised to keep an eye on its performance in anticipation of brighter days ahead.