Lowe Brockenbrough & Co. Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) by 1.3% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 27,247 shares of the medical research company’s stock after purchasing an additional 337 shares during the period. Lowe Brockenbrough & Co. Inc.’s holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $2,269,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in DGX. Levin Capital Strategies L.P. bought a new stake in Quest Diagnostics during the 4th quarter valued at about $119,754,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 14.9% during the 4th quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 7,708,550 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $641,888,000 after buying an additional 1,000,318 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP lifted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 105.1% during the 3rd quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 1,525,559 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $164,623,000 after buying an additional 781,703 shares in the last quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP lifted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 67.8% during the 4th quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 1,220,496 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $101,631,000 after buying an additional 493,200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Two Sigma Investments LP lifted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 69.7% during the 4th quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP now owns 1,149,180 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $95,692,000 after buying an additional 472,053 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 90.41% of the company’s stock.
DGX has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Morgan Stanley set a $101.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, December 20th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $121.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Sunday, December 2nd. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a $98.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Friday, November 30th. Barclays restated a “buy” rating and issued a $114.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Friday, February 15th. Finally, Mizuho set a $106.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 15th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $102.24.
In other news, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 336 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.23, for a total value of $29,645.28. Following the transaction, 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 SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Gail R. Wilensky sold 8,000 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.78, for a total transaction of $702,240.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 34,604 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,037,539.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 13,724 shares of company stock worth $1,199,363. Insiders own 1.79% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Quest Diagnostics stock traded down $0.89 on Monday, reaching $88.35. The stock had a trading volume of 12,878 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,416,202. The company has a quick ratio of 0.87, a current ratio of 0.94 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65. Quest Diagnostics Inc has a 1 year low of $78.95 and a 1 year high of $116.49. The company has a market cap of $11.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.01, a PEG ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 0.89.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 14th. The medical research company reported $1.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.37 by ($0.01). Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 15.23% and a net margin of 9.77%. The firm had revenue of $1.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.88 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.40 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics Inc will post 6.45 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 22nd. Stockholders of record on Monday, April 8th will be given a $0.53 dividend. This represents a $2.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.40%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, April 5th. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is currently 33.60%.
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Quest Diagnostics Company Profile
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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