Quest Diagnostics’ (DGX) “Equal Weight” Rating Reiterated at Barclays PLC
Barclays PLC restated their equal weight rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) in a report issued on Sunday, April 23rd. The firm currently has a $100.00 price objective on the medical research company’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $98.00.
Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $115.00 price target (up previously from $108.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $116.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Mizuho reissued a buy rating and set a $90.00 target price (down previously from $103.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Friday, April 14th. FBR & Co lifted their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $103.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 12th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $110.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, March 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $106.58.
Shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) opened at 106.55 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $103.31 and its 200-day moving average price is $95.35. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.58 billion, a PE ratio of 21.45 and a beta of 0.68. Quest Diagnostics has a 12 month low of $75.20 and a 12 month high of $108.21.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 20th. The medical research company reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.15. The firm had revenue of $1.90 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.87 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 8.56% and a return on equity of 14.61%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.12 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.56 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 24th. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.45 per share. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.69%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 6th. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 40.00%.
In related news, Director Jenne K. Britell sold 6,111 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.03, for a total transaction of $635,727.33. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 7,162 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.28, for a total transaction of $703,881.36. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 87,809 shares in the company, valued at $8,629,868.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 57,213 shares of company stock worth $5,732,460. 1.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DGX. Parkwood LLC bought a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the third quarter valued at approximately $278,000. Regentatlantic Capital LLC raised its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 14.7% in the third quarter. Regentatlantic Capital LLC now owns 11,921 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,009,000 after buying an additional 1,525 shares in the last quarter. Boston Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 30.1% in the third quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 71,556 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $6,056,000 after buying an additional 16,576 shares in the last quarter. Conning Inc. raised its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 1.2% in the third quarter. Conning Inc. now owns 10,223 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $865,000 after buying an additional 120 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth Equity Services Inc raised its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 0.3% in the third quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 16,112 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,364,000 after buying an additional 52 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.71% of the company’s stock.
Quest Diagnostics Company Profile
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated is a provider of diagnostic information services. The Company operates through two businesses: Diagnostic Information Services and Diagnostic Solutions. The Diagnostic Information Services business develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, providing insights that empower and enable a range of customers, including patients, clinicians, hospitals, integrated delivery networks (IDNs), health plans, employers and accountable care organizations (ACOs).
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