Breton Hill Capital Ltd. Reduces Stake in Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (DGX)

Breton Hill Capital Ltd. lowered its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) by 25.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 13,845 shares of the medical research company’s stock after selling 4,607 shares during the period. Breton Hill Capital Ltd.’s holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $1,539,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 1.5% in the first quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 1,188 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 18 shares in the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 16.1% in the first quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,279 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 177 shares in the last quarter. Advisors Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the first quarter valued at about $164,000. Trust Co. of Vermont raised its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 8.5% in the first quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 1,859 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $182,000 after buying an additional 145 shares during the period. Finally, Financial Architects Inc raised its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 5.6% in the second quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 1,666 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $185,000 after buying an additional 88 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.97% of the company’s stock.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (DGX) traded up 0.46% during trading on Friday, reaching $106.10. 849,396 shares of the company were exchanged. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated has a 12 month low of $79.12 and a 12 month high of $112.96. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.47 billion, a PE ratio of 21.38 and a beta of 0.69. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $108.82 and a 200 day moving average price of $103.03.

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

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 24th. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th were given a $0.45 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.70%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is presently 36.29%.

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A number of research firms recently weighed in on DGX. UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $115.00 price objective (up from $102.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $122.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, Barclays PLC restated a “hold” rating and issued a $110.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $109.62.

In related news, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 59,762 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.55, for a total value of $6,427,403.10. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 78,582 shares in the company, valued at $8,451,494.10. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 296 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.66, for a total transaction of $31,571.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 6,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $639,960. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 61,362 shares of company stock worth $6,600,758 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 1.50% 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).

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

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