Advisors Capital Management LLC Purchases 883 Shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (DGX)

Advisors Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) by 5.3% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 17,604 shares of the medical research company’s stock after buying an additional 883 shares during the period. Advisors Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $1,957,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 2,638.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,362,418 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,508,435,000 after buying an additional 14,801,397 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 2.7% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 6,918,900 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $679,362,000 after buying an additional 180,690 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group increased its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 8.3% in the first quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 2,188,114 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $215,245,000 after buying an additional 167,246 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 5.2% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,022,107 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $198,551,000 after buying an additional 99,153 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE increased its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 0.6% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 1,887,303 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $185,315,000 after buying an additional 11,399 shares during the last quarter. 90.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) traded up 0.46% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $106.10. The stock had a trading volume of 849,396 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $108.82 and a 200-day moving average price of $103.03. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated has a 52 week low of $79.12 and a 52 week high of $112.96. The stock has a market cap of $14.47 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.38 and a beta of 0.69.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical research company reported $1.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.42 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.94 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 15.66% and a net margin of 9.28%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.34 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated will post $5.70 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 24th. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th were issued a dividend of $0.45 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.70%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 36.29%.

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DGX has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $115.00 price objective (up previously from $108.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Sunday, April 23rd. BidaskClub downgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Bank of America Corporation raised Quest Diagnostics from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the company from $111.00 to $118.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, May 22nd. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised Quest Diagnostics from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $116.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, April 21st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $109.62.

In related news, Director Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 1,304 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.73, for a total transaction of $141,783.92. Following the sale, the director now owns 6,296 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $684,564.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 296 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.66, for a total value of $31,571.36. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 6,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $639,960. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 61,362 shares of company stock worth $6,600,758 in the last three months. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

About Quest Diagnostics

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).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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