Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Wednesday, January 3rd.

According to Zacks, “The current economic uncertainty including challenging volume environment for testing laboratories and utilization weaknesses are looming headwinds for LabCorp. Also, the company's revenue growth was constrained by the impact from multiple hurricanes during the last reported quarter. On a positive note, LabCorp's Diagnostics business continues to remain strong on improving price, mix, acquisition and favorable foreign exchange. Also after several quarters of dull show, Covance Drug Development reported strong growth on the back of the acquisition of Chiltern, strong organic growth and favorable foreign currency translation. An increased 2017 guidance boosts investors’ confidence indicating chances of this bullish trend to be maintained in the fourth quarter too. Over the past six months LabCorp has been trading above the broader industry.”

LH has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Wells Fargo & Co started coverage on Laboratory Corp. of America in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. They set an outperform rating and a $175.00 price objective for the company. Jefferies Group reissued a hold rating and issued a $170.00 price target (up from $157.00) on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in a research note on Wednesday, September 13th. Craig Hallum reissued a buy rating and issued a $180.00 price target (up from $175.00) on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Barclays reissued a buy rating and issued a $195.00 price target on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $150.00 price objective on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $175.00.

Shares of Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE LH) traded up $1.70 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $178.11. The stock had a trading volume of 567,445 shares, compared to its average volume of 565,466. Laboratory Corp. of America has a twelve month low of $128.00 and a twelve month high of $181.71. The stock has a market capitalization of $17,958.54, a PE ratio of 24.91, a P/E/G ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 0.87. The company has a current ratio of 1.89, a quick ratio of 1.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. IFG Advisory LLC acquired a new position in Laboratory Corp. of America during the 4th quarter worth $282,000. Twin Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in Laboratory Corp. of America by 42.6% during the 4th quarter. Twin Capital Management Inc. now owns 5,718 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $912,000 after acquiring an additional 1,707 shares during the period. Global Thematic Partners LLC boosted its position in Laboratory Corp. of America by 26.9% during the 4th quarter. Global Thematic Partners LLC now owns 680,829 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $108,599,000 after acquiring an additional 144,156 shares during the period. PGGM Investments boosted its position in Laboratory Corp. of America by 254.1% during the 4th quarter. PGGM Investments now owns 293,200 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $46,768,000 after acquiring an additional 210,408 shares during the period. Finally, BB&T Corp boosted its position in Laboratory Corp. of America by 18.2% during the 4th quarter. BB&T Corp now owns 2,633 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $420,000 after acquiring an additional 405 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.14% of the company’s stock.

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About Laboratory Corp. of America

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings is a life sciences company that is integrated in guiding patient care, providing clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services. The Company operates as a healthcare diagnostics company. The Company operates through two segments: LabCorp Diagnostics (LCD) and Covance Drug Development (CDD).

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