Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating in a report released on Wednesday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. They currently have $103.00 price target on the medical research company’s stock.
A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on DGX. Goldman Sachs assumed coverage on Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Monday, January 29th. They set a buy rating and a $117.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut Quest Diagnostics from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 7th. Mizuho set a $113.00 price objective on Quest Diagnostics and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Argus upgraded Quest Diagnostics from a hold rating to a buy rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $104.14 to $116.00 in a research note on Wednesday, March 7th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies restated a hold rating and set a $110.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Fourteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. Quest Diagnostics presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $108.65.
Quest Diagnostics (DGX) opened at $104.35 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $14,204.00, a PE ratio of 18.97, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.88 and a beta of 0.68. Quest Diagnostics has a one year low of $90.10 and a one year high of $112.96. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a current ratio of 1.24.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The medical research company reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.37 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.93 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 15.41% and a net margin of 10.00%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.31 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will post 6.59 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 18th. Investors of record on Wednesday, April 4th will be paid a $0.50 dividend. This is a boost from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 3rd. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.92%. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is 32.73%.
In related news, SVP Jon R. Cohen sold 83,669 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.20, for a total value of $8,718,309.80. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 115,426 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,027,389.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP J. E. Davis sold 63,880 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $98.68, for a total value of $6,303,678.40. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 101,423 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,008,421.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 292,027 shares of company stock worth $30,336,117. Insiders own 1.75% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in DGX. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. increased its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 741,981.0% in the fourth quarter. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. now owns 1,246,696 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $122,787,000 after buying an additional 1,246,528 shares during the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 73.1% in the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 2,107,796 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $207,596,000 after buying an additional 889,802 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 29.1% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,487,295 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $244,974,000 after buying an additional 560,538 shares during the last quarter. Element Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $44,275,000. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 24.1% during the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,801,477 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $168,690,000 after purchasing an additional 349,703 shares during the last quarter. 88.65% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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