Analysts Expect Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) to Announce $1.60 Earnings Per Share

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Equities analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) will announce earnings per share of $1.60 for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Seven analysts have issued estimates for Quest Diagnostics’ earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $1.65 and the lowest is $1.58. Quest Diagnostics reported earnings of $1.36 per share in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year over year growth rate of 17.6%. The firm is expected to announce its next earnings report on Thursday, February 13th.

On average, analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will report full year earnings of $6.49 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.48 to $6.53. For the next year, analysts forecast that the business will report earnings of $6.74 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.62 to $6.85. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for Quest Diagnostics.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 22nd. The medical research company reported $1.76 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.71 by $0.05. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 15.32% and a net margin of 9.58%. The firm had revenue of $1.96 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.94 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.68 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on DGX. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a $113.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Wednesday, October 23rd. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on Quest Diagnostics from $111.00 to $121.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, August 23rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $111.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, September 30th. UBS Group lowered their target price on Quest Diagnostics from $103.00 to $102.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 21st. Finally, ValuEngine cut Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, November 29th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. Quest Diagnostics has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $106.85.

In related news, Director Gail R. Wilensky sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.17, for a total value of $857,360.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 22,951 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,459,658.67. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 44,556 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.43, for a total value of $4,786,651.08. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 51,321 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,513,415.03. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 57,556 shares of company stock valued at $6,174,011 in the last ninety days. 1.86% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Pearl River Capital LLC acquired a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the second quarter valued at approximately $28,000. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the second quarter valued at approximately $29,000. Berman Capital Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 47.7% during the second quarter. Berman Capital Advisors LLC now owns 319 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $32,000 after acquiring an additional 103 shares during the last quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 108.4% during the third quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 346 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $36,000 after acquiring an additional 180 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Quest Capital Management Inc. ADV acquired a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the third quarter valued at approximately $42,000. 88.04% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of DGX traded down $0.12 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $105.20. The company had a trading volume of 652,045 shares, compared to its average volume of 738,673. Quest Diagnostics has a 52-week low of $78.95 and a 52-week high of $108.30. The company has a quick ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 0.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.11 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.67, a PEG ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.85. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $103.90 and a two-hundred day moving average of $102.51.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 29th. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 14th will be issued a $0.53 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, January 13th. This represents a $2.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.02%. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is 33.60%.

Quest Diagnostics Company Profile

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

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