JB Hunt rises as 3Q results satisfy investors

NEW YORK -- Shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. gained more than 7 percent Friday as the trucking and logistics company's third-quarter results appeared to satisfy investors.

THE SPARK: On Thursday J.B. Hunt reported quarterly earnings of 65 cents per share on revenue of $1.3 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 66 cents per share on revenue of $1.28 billion.

THE ANALYSIS: While J.B. Hunt's quarterly earnings results fell just short of Wall Street's expectations, John Larkin of Stifel Nicolaus said in a client note that investors likely expected the company to miss by a larger amount since many transportation companies had pre-warned about weak quarterly results.

The analyst maintained a "Hold" rating.

Raymond James' Patrick Tyler Brown raised J.B. Hunt's price target to $60 from $57 and kept an "Outperform" rating. The analyst said that the company continues to be led by its intermodal business, which continues to take a significant share of the truckload market.

SHARE ACTION: J.B. Hunt's stock rose $4.52, or 8.3 percent, to $59.31 in afternoon trading. The shares have traded in a range of $40.03 to $61.18 over the last year and are up 19 percent for the year to date.