Analyst Boost Gives JB Hunt (NASDAQ:JBHT) New Life
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Analyst Boost Gives JB Hunt (NASDAQ:JBHT) New Life

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JB Hunt lands some praise from analysts, which sends it upward after a rough year for trucking.

The trucking industry hasn’t been doing so well lately, thanks to soaring inflation and other less favorable macroeconomic conditions. But that’s not stopping JB Hunt (NASDAQ:JBHT) any, as recent kind words from analysts sent shares up nearly 3% in Monday morning’s trading.

JB Hunt got its praises from UBS by way of analyst Thomas Wadewitz. Wadewitz hiked the rating on JB Hunt from Neutral to Buy and boosted the price target to $235. That was 18% higher than Friday’s closing price, a substantial gain. Wadewitz delivered the hike as the result of expected future earnings thanks to a rise in intermodal volume; he looks for a jump of 7% in earnings per share figures thanks to 6% growth in the overall field. Meanwhile, those gains are only likely to continue, with EPS going up another 25% thanks to a “stronger cyclical upturn” in intermodal pricing.

Not Everyone is So Certain

There’s no doubt Wadewitz’s projections are rosy, but not everyone sees the silver linings in the dark clouds around the industry. For instance, the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) recently went to Congress with deep concerns about “rampant fraud” in the trucking industry to the tune of about $800 million. That kind of albatross can sink even cyclically upturned earnings reports. Other reports suggest that 2024 could be another challenging year, especially given still-high fuel prices—though they are down from the record highs seen previously—and still-prevalent shortages of drivers who can take the freight.

Is JB Hunt a Good Stock?

Turning to Wall Street, analysts have a Moderate Buy consensus rating on JBHT stock based on 10 Buys and four Holds assigned in the past three months, as indicated by the graphic below. After a 6.45% rally in its share price over the past year, the average JBHT price target of $207.85 per share implies 1.89% upside potential.



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