Equities analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) will report earnings of $1.40 per share for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Eight analysts have issued estimates for Quest Diagnostics’ earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $1.29 and the highest estimate coming in at $1.66. Quest Diagnostics posted earnings per share of $1.38 during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 1.4%. The company is expected to issue its next earnings results on Thursday, February 7th.
On average, analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will report full year earnings of $6.36 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.30 to $6.60. For the next year, analysts anticipate that the business will report earnings of $6.61 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.50 to $6.89. Zacks’ EPS averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for Quest Diagnostics.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The medical research company reported $1.68 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.68. The company had revenue of $1.89 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.95 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 11.30% and a return on equity of 15.71%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.38 earnings per share.
Several analysts have recently commented on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, November 30th. Barclays lowered their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $125.00 to $117.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, November 30th. Goldman Sachs Group lowered their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $110.00 to $90.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Sunday. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $121.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Sunday, December 2nd. Finally, Bank of America downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, December 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $106.19.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of DGX. American Century Companies Inc. increased its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 38.7% during the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 4,109,526 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $443,459,000 after buying an additional 1,147,470 shares during the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP increased its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 105.1% during the third quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 1,525,559 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $164,623,000 after buying an additional 781,703 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 57.3% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,781,373 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $195,845,000 after buying an additional 648,706 shares during the last quarter. Tavio Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics during the second quarter worth about $39,866,000. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 4.8% during the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 6,708,232 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $723,882,000 after buying an additional 306,017 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.52% of the company’s stock.
Shares of DGX stock traded up $0.64 on Thursday, hitting $88.10. The stock had a trading volume of 75,854 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,280,318. The company has a market cap of $11.91 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.37, a P/E/G ratio of 1.83 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 1.15 and a quick ratio of 1.09. Quest Diagnostics has a 12-month low of $85.56 and a 12-month high of $116.49.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 30th. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.53 per share. This represents a $2.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.41%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, January 14th. This is an increase from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.50. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 37.04%.
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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