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Landstar shares soar after stronger than expected earnings report

Truck drivers navigate a rain-covered highway on the outskirts of Chicago.
Getty Images
Truck drivers navigate a rain-covered highway on the outskirts of Chicago.

Shares of Landstar climbed more than 9 percent in early trading on Thursday, after releasing an earnings report that topped analysts' estimates, and a bullish Wall Street price target.

The stock later pared its gains, but ended the day 6 percent higher, closing at $69.90.

On Wednesday, Landstar reported a revenue of $788 million for the 2016 third quarter and a diluted earnings per share of 86 cents, blowing past analyst estimates of $778 million and 81 cents, respectively.

While the transportation services company beat expectations for their earnings report, Landstar's numbers are still down year over year. In 2015, Landstar reported third quarter earnings of 90 cents diluted EPS, and revenue of $842 million.

CEO Jim Gattoni acknowledged the slow growth and year to year figures in a statement released on Wednesday, saying, "Overall, we continued to have difficult year-over-year comparisons to 2015 driven mostly by tougher overall industry conditions in 2016 and revenue from the previously referenced automotive project in 2015."

Gattoni expects the slow growth environment to persist, and that year-over-year fourth quarter comparisons are also expected to slip.

In addition, the company's stock may have benefited from a bullish price target by Wall Street research firm Stifel, which upped its price target to $70.

LSTR 2016 YTD