Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights GATX, JB Hunt Transport Services and Schneider National

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Chicago, IL – March 1, 2022 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the analyst blog. Every day, Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: GATX Corp. GATX, JB Hunt Transport Services JBHT and Schneider National SNDR.

Here are the highlights from Monday’s analyst blog:

3 Carrier Stocks to Own in the Event of Rising Dividend Payouts

Stocks belonging to the transportation cohort benefit from the gradual increase in trading volumes as economic activities pick up. Widespread vaccination programs also spurred this rise in economic affairs. The gradual improvement scenario can be gauged from the impressive results of most industry participants for the fourth quarter of 2021, despite challenges such as the omicron-induced labor shortage.

In fact, 2021 has been a good year for industry players with improvements in key areas like the freight scenario. The improving scenario saw a huge proportion of transportation players report better than expected earnings per share for the final quarter of 2021. Clearly, the Zacks Transport sector gained 9% last year.

However, headwinds like rising fuel costs, geopolitical issues caused by the Russia-Ukraine war, and supply chain issues have caused the sector to lose 3.9% since the start of the year. In fact, the price of oil touched $100 after seven years at the end of last week. With fuel spending being an integral part of all transportation players, this sharp rise in the price of oil does not bode well for earnings growth for industry participants.

Additionally, rising inflation has rattled US equity markets so far this year. With the possibility that the central bank will raise the interest rate in March, the market should see more volatility in the short term.

Is investing in dividend-paying growth stocks the solution?

Given the aforementioned disruptions, the question is whether investors interested in the transportation sector should avoid stocks in the sector altogether. The answer is a definite no. In this age of uncertainty, investing in dividend growth stocks makes sense. After all, these stocks have strong fundamentals and are unaffected by market fluctuations.

As investors prefer an income-generating stock, a high-dividend stock is highly coveted. Needless to say, they are always on the lookout for companies with a history of consistent and progressive dividends.

Below are three transportation stocks that have announced dividend hikes this year, even in these turbulent times, highlighting their financial prosperity. The stocks also carry a Zacks rank of No. 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see the full list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

GATX Corp. : Based in Chicago, IL, GATX, currently ranked Zacks #1, is a global railcar lessor with owned fleets in North America, Europe and Asia. A continued recovery in the North American railcar leasing market is expected to drive the stock’s growth in 2022. Improving market leasing rates and increasing asset disposal gains are expected to drive earnings from the stock. Rail North America segment, contributing the majority of GATX’s revenue. The Zacks consensus estimate for 2022 earnings per share has been revised up 5.9% in the past 60 days.

In January, GATX announced a 4% increase in its quarterly dividend, bringing the total to 52 cents per share ($2.08 annualized). The first payment of the revised dividend will be paid on March 31, 2022 to its shareholders as of February 22. The current year marks the 104th consecutive year that GATX has paid dividends.

Based in Arkansas JB Hunt Transportation Services provides a wide range of transportation services to a diverse group of customers across the United States, Canada and Mexico. JB Hunt benefited from the good performance of its Dedicated Contract Services (DCS), Truckload and Final Mile Services (FMS) segments.

The DCS unit is aided by improved fleet productivity and an increase in average truck revenue, while the full load unit benefits from higher load counts and revenue per load. The rapid expansion of JBHT’s Final Mile network (delivery to the customer’s doorstep) through strategic acquisitions and organic growth is also encouraging.

In January, JBHT, currently with a Zacks rank of 1, increased its dividend by 33% to 40 cents per share (annually: $1.60). JB Hunt raised its dividend twice last year, underscoring its shareholder-friendly approach. JBHT stock has seen the Zacks consensus estimate for current-year earnings revised up 6.7% in the past 60 days.

Schneider National, headquartered in Green Bay, WI, is a leading transportation and logistics services company. The SNDR is helped by the good performance of its Intermodal and Logistics poles. The intermodal segment benefits from yield management and increased volumes. The Logistics unit is prospering due to favorable market conditions and other factors.

In January, SNDR, which currently holds a Zacks Rank #2, increased its dividend by 14.3% on its Class A and Class B common stock to 8 cents per share (annually: 32 cents). The increased dividend is payable April 8, 2022 to its shareholders of record as of March 11, 2022. SNDR stock saw Zacks’ consensus estimate for current-year earnings revised up 10.6% at course of the last 60 days.

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Past performance is not indicative of future results. The potential for loss is inherent in any investment. This document is provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security. No recommendation or advice is given as to whether any investment is suitable for any particular investor. It should not be assumed that investments in the securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described have been or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date hereof and is subject to change without notice. The views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the company as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management of securities. These returns come from hypothetical portfolios composed of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that have been rebalanced monthly without transaction fees. These are not the returns of actual stock portfolios. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. To visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for more information on the performance figures displayed in this press release.

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JB Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (JBHT): Free Inventory Analysis Report

GATX Corporation (GATX): Free Stock Analysis Report

Schneider National, Inc. (SNDR): Free Inventory Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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