Brokerages Expect Quest Diagnostics Inc (DGX) Will Announce Quarterly Sales of $1.88 Billion

Wall Street brokerages forecast that Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) will announce sales of $1.88 billion for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Eight analysts have provided estimates for Quest Diagnostics’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $1.87 billion to $1.88 billion. Quest Diagnostics also posted sales of $1.88 billion in the same quarter last year. The business is expected to report its next earnings results on Thursday, April 18th.

On average, analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will report full-year sales of $7.68 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $7.65 billion to $7.77 billion. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the firm will post sales of $7.88 billion, with estimates ranging from $7.74 billion to $7.98 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that that provide coverage for Quest Diagnostics.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The medical research company reported $1.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.37 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $1.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.88 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 15.23% and a net margin of 9.77%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.40 EPS.

A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Morgan Stanley set a $101.00 target price on Quest Diagnostics and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 20th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $121.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Sunday, December 2nd. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a $98.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Friday, November 30th. Mizuho set a $108.00 price objective on Quest Diagnostics and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 20th. Finally, Barclays reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $114.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Friday, February 15th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $102.82.

DGX traded up $1.46 on Friday, reaching $88.27. 1,071,815 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,360,115. The company has a market cap of $11.66 billion, a PE ratio of 13.99, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.06 and a beta of 0.89. Quest Diagnostics has a twelve month low of $78.95 and a twelve month high of $116.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a current ratio of 0.94.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 22nd. Investors of record on Monday, April 8th will be paid a $0.53 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, April 5th. This represents a $2.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.40%. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is 33.60%.

In other Quest Diagnostics news, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 336 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.23, for a total transaction of $29,645.28. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 42,108 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,715,188.84. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Everett Cunningham sold 1,496 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $86.64, for a total transaction of $129,613.44. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 39,755 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,444,373.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 13,724 shares of company stock worth $1,199,363. 1.79% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of DGX. Levin Capital Strategies L.P. purchased a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the fourth quarter worth about $119,754,000. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the fourth quarter worth about $115,526,000. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 27.4% during the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 5,237,528 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $436,129,000 after purchasing an additional 1,128,002 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 14.9% during the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 7,708,550 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $641,888,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000,318 shares during the period. Finally, Marshall Wace LLP boosted its holdings in shares of 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 purchasing an additional 781,703 shares during the period. 85.73% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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