Quest Diagnostics Inc (DGX) Receives Average Recommendation of “Hold” from Brokerages

Shares of Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) have been assigned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the twenty-five ratings firms that are currently covering the stock, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Fourteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 12-month target price among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $110.76.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on DGX shares. Mizuho restated a “buy” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Friday, May 25th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, May 22nd. Argus upgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $104.14 to $116.00 in a research report on Wednesday, March 7th. Canaccord Genuity lifted their price objective on Quest Diagnostics from $113.00 to $115.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 19th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $103.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th.

Quest Diagnostics stock traded down $0.15 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $110.06. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 346,868 shares, compared to its average volume of 936,750. Quest Diagnostics has a 1 year low of $90.10 and a 1 year high of $116.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 1.14 and a current ratio of 1.23. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.97 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.38, a PEG ratio of 2.17 and a beta of 0.69.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 19th. The medical research company reported $1.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.52. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 10.19% and a return on equity of 15.44%. The company had revenue of $1.88 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.89 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.33 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics will post 6.61 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 23rd. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 9th will be paid a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, July 6th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.82%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is presently 37.04%.

In other news, Director Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 1,644 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.61, for a total transaction of $173,622.84. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 6,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $633,660. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Mark Guinan sold 61,533 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.71, for a total transaction of $6,504,653.43. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 119,733 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,656,975.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 231,667 shares of company stock valued at $24,706,706 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 1.79% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 7.4% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,582,475 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,562,924,000 after acquiring an additional 1,071,083 shares in the last quarter. Fiduciary Management Inc. WI grew its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 76.5% in the first quarter. Fiduciary Management Inc. WI now owns 3,669,715 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $368,072,000 after purchasing an additional 1,590,069 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. grew its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 16.4% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,372,859 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $237,998,000 after purchasing an additional 333,749 shares during the period. Allianz Asset Management GmbH grew its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 8.3% in the first quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 2,326,398 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $233,338,000 after purchasing an additional 178,041 shares during the period. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 18.2% in the fourth quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 1,816,985 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $178,955,000 after purchasing an additional 280,401 shares during the period. 87.40% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing information and services in the United States and internationally. The company's Diagnostic Information Services business segment develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, such as routine testing, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, gene-based and esoteric testing, anatomic pathology, and other diagnostic information services.

Analyst Recommendations for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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