Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) – Investment analysts at SunTrust Banks upped their Q4 2018 EPS estimates for Quest Diagnostics in a note issued to investors on Thursday, April 19th. SunTrust Banks analyst D. Macdonald now expects that the medical research company will earn $1.63 per share for the quarter, up from their prior forecast of $1.62. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Quest Diagnostics’ Q1 2019 earnings at $1.58 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $1.80 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $1.70 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $6.90 EPS.
A number of other brokerages have also commented on DGX. Goldman Sachs began coverage on Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Monday, January 29th. They set a “buy” rating and a $117.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 7th. Morgan Stanley raised Quest Diagnostics from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $103.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. Canaccord Genuity raised their price target on Quest Diagnostics from $113.00 to $115.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 19th. Finally, Mizuho set a $113.00 price target on Quest Diagnostics and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Thirteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $107.94.
Shares of NYSE DGX opened at $99.74 on Monday. Quest Diagnostics has a one year low of $90.10 and a one year high of $112.96. The stock has a market cap of $13,314.22, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.47, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 0.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a current ratio of 1.23 and a quick ratio of 1.14.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 19th. The medical research company reported $1.52 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.52. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 15.44% and a net margin of 10.19%. The firm had revenue of $1.88 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.89 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.33 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, April 18th. Investors of record on Wednesday, April 4th were paid a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.01%. This is an increase from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, April 3rd. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.04%.
In related news, SVP Jon R. Cohen sold 83,669 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 115,426 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,027,389.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 106,840 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.00, for a total value of $11,431,880.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 272,956 shares in the company, valued at $29,206,292. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 206,853 shares of company stock worth $21,817,863 over the last three months. 1.79% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Wagner Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $106,000. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $118,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $128,000. Assetmark Inc. grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 139.5% in the 4th quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 1,473 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $145,000 after buying an additional 858 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Icon Wealth Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $147,000. 88.84% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing information and services in the United States and internationally. The company's Diagnostic Information Services business segment develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, such as routine testing, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, gene-based and esoteric testing, anatomic pathology, and other diagnostic information services.
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