Werner Enterprises Inc. (WERN) Volatility Spurs A Quest For Clarity

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Macquarie Investment Management B. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Werner Enterprises Inc. (NASDAQ:WERN). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Industrials company by 35.42% to 3.14 million shares with purchase of 0.82 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 4.54% valued currently at $136.62 million. In addition, Victory Capital Management, Inc. raised its holdings by 28840.0 to 3.06 million shares. And SSgA Funds Management, Inc. has lifted its position by 0.30% or 4699.0 shares – to 1.59 million shares.

With over 0.86 million Werner Enterprises Inc. (WERN) shares trading Tuesday and a closing price of $44.86 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $38.54 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 4.13% and its price on 07/21/20 lost nearly -0.66%. Currently, there are 69.25M common shares owned by the public and among those 37.80M shares have been available to trade.

An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 17 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for WERN have a consensus price objective of $47.06. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $55.00 and a low of $39.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Werner Enterprises Inc. stock is 2.20 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 2.22% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -15.03% over that period. But an upside of 18.44% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $47.50.

Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 84 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 35 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 200,139 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 49 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 7,034,137 shares.

The top 3 mutual fund holders in Werner Enterprises Inc. are Victory Sycamore Small Company Op, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, and iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF. Victory Sycamore Small Company Op owns 1.95 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $85.04 million. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index bought 0.4 million shares to see its total holdings expand to 1.67 million shares valued at over $72.78 million and representing 2.42% of the shares outstanding. iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF now owns shares totaling to 2.22% of the shares outstanding.

Shares of Werner Enterprises Inc. (NASDAQ: WERN) opened at $45.18, up $0.02 from a prior closing price of $45.16. However, the script later closed the day at $44.86, down -0.66%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 4.13% and 15.08% over the past three months. WERN shares are trading 23.28% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 36.39% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $28.99 and touched a high of $46.95 over the same period. Currently, 0.86 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 1.26 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 3.61%, 4.29%, and 17.07% respectively.

Institutional ownership of Werner Enterprises Inc. (NASDAQ: WERN) shares accounts for 66.10% of the company’s 69.25M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 33.62%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 39.92% and 24.03% respectively.

It has a market capitalization of $3.00B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.81. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 20.34, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $2.21. The company has a PEG of 18.13 and a Quick Ratio of 1.50 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.23. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 2.40% over the week and 2.58% over the month.

Analysts forecast that Werner Enterprises Inc. (WERN) will achieve an EPS of $0.39 for the current quarter, $0.47 for the next quarter and $2.36 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.25 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.51. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $0.63 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 2.20%, and 24.45% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 1.12% over the next five years, compared to 11.90% over the past 5-year period.

If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 17 brokerage firm advisors rate Werner Enterprises Inc. (WERN) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.20. Specifically, 10 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 4 of the 17 advise that investors “hold,” and 2 rated it as a “Sell.”

Looking at the support for the WERN, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. UBS stated their Buy rating for the stock in a research note on June 15, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $42-$49. Cowen coverage for the Werner Enterprises Inc. (WERN) stock in a research note released on April 29, 2020 offered a Market Perform rating with a price target of $39. Robert W. Baird was of a view on March 17, 2020 that the stock is Outperform, while Susquehanna gave the stock Positive rating on January 15, 2020, issuing a price target of. BofA/Merrill on their part issued Buy rating on January 14, 2020.

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