Bank of America Corporation upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, July 25th, Marketbeat.com reports. The brokerage currently has $118.00 price objective on the medical research company’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $111.00.
Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Mizuho reissued a buy rating and issued a $90.00 price target (down from $103.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Friday, April 14th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a buy rating and issued a $115.00 price target (up from $108.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Sunday, April 23rd. Canaccord Genuity boosted their price target on Quest Diagnostics from $102.00 to $115.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, April 25th. UBS AG reissued a buy rating and issued a $115.00 price target (up from $102.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Tuesday, April 25th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded 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 equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Quest Diagnostics presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $109.62.
Shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE DGX) traded up 0.46% on Tuesday, hitting $106.10. The stock had a trading volume of 849,396 shares. Quest Diagnostics has a one year low of $79.12 and a one year high of $112.96. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $108.82 and its 200-day moving average is $103.03. The company has a market cap of $14.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.38 and a beta of 0.69.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical research company reported $1.55 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.42 by $0.13. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 15.66% and a net margin of 9.28%. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.94 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.34 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.70 EPS for the current fiscal year.
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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 24th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 10th were paid a dividend of $0.45 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.70%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is presently 36.29%.
In other news, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 59,762 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.55, for a total value of $6,427,403.10. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 78,582 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,451,494.10. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 296 shares of the company’s 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 completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 6,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $639,960. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 61,362 shares of company stock valued at $6,600,758 over the last 90 days. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of DGX. Meeder Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 55.9% in the second quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 34,817 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $3,870,000 after buying an additional 12,478 shares during the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. increased its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 9.9% in the first quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 118,913 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $11,676,000 after buying an additional 10,756 shares during the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE increased its stake in shares of 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. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the first quarter valued at $458,000. Finally, Chicago Equity Partners LLC increased its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 9.3% in the first quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC now owns 2,700 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $265,000 after buying an additional 230 shares in the last quarter. 90.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
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).
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