StockNews.com Lowers Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) to Hold

StockNews.com downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGXGet Rating) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Tuesday.

DGX has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Citigroup lowered shares of Quest Diagnostics from a buy rating to a neutral rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $175.00 to $140.00 in a report on Monday, April 4th. UBS Group increased their price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $139.00 to $150.00 in a report on Sunday, April 24th. Bank of America decreased their price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $166.00 to $163.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Friday, April 22nd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company increased their price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $145.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Monday, April 25th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, Quest Diagnostics currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $150.33.

Quest Diagnostics stock opened at $137.42 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $136.17 and its 200 day simple moving average is $141.85. The company has a current ratio of 1.46, a quick ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. The firm has a market capitalization of $16.13 billion, a PE ratio of 9.15 and a beta of 1.05. Quest Diagnostics has a 1-year low of $125.33 and a 1-year high of $174.16.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGXGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 21st. The medical research company reported $3.22 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.91 by $0.31. The business had revenue of $2.61 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.64 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 17.61% and a return on equity of 27.08%. Quest Diagnostics’s revenue was down 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $3.76 EPS. Research analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics will post 9.32 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 20th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, July 6th will be paid a $0.66 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, July 5th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.92%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 17.58%.

In other news, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 50,604 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $139.97, for a total value of $7,083,041.88. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 39,224 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,490,183.28. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 282,408 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $140.12, for a total transaction of $39,571,008.96. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 334,833 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $46,916,799.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.70% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Savant Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics during the 4th quarter valued at $260,000. Rafferty Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 5.8% in the 4th quarter. Rafferty Asset Management LLC now owns 4,124 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $713,000 after purchasing an additional 227 shares during the period. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC lifted its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 8.7% in the 1st quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC now owns 234,814 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $32,137,000 after purchasing an additional 18,855 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund lifted its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 46.9% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 38,776 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $6,709,000 after purchasing an additional 12,387 shares during the period. Finally, One Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 4th quarter worth about $273,000. 89.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Quest Diagnostics Company Profile (Get Rating)

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing, information, and services in the United States and internationally. The company develops and delivers diagnostic information services, such as routine testing, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, anatomic pathology testing, and other diagnostic information services.

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