Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) Receives Consensus Rating of “Buy” from Brokerages

Shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) have received a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the eighteen research firms that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat reports. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The average 1-year price objective among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $110.03.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on DGX. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Bank of America Corporation raised Quest Diagnostics from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $111.00 to $118.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Piper Jaffray Companies increased their target price on Quest Diagnostics to $107.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. BidaskClub downgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Barclays PLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $110.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) opened at 106.21 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $109.15 and its 200 day moving average price is $102.52. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.49 billion, a PE ratio of 21.40 and a beta of 0.69. Quest Diagnostics has a 12 month low of $79.12 and a 12 month high of $112.97.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical research company reported $1.55 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.42 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.94 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 15.66% and a net margin of 9.28%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.34 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 24th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 10th were issued a dividend of $0.45 per share. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.69%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 6th. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 36.29%.

In other news, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 59,762 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.55, for a total transaction of $6,427,403.10. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 78,582 shares in the company, valued at $8,451,494.10. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 1,304 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.73, for a total value of $141,783.92. Following the sale, the director now owns 6,296 shares in the company, valued at approximately $684,564.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 61,362 shares of company stock worth $6,600,758. 1.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Meeder Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 55.9% in the second quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 34,817 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $3,870,000 after buying an additional 12,478 shares during the period. Capstone Asset Management Co. boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 9.9% in the first quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 118,913 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $11,676,000 after buying an additional 10,756 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 0.6% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 1,887,303 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $185,315,000 after buying an additional 11,399 shares during the period. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd acquired a new stake in Quest Diagnostics during the first quarter valued at about $458,000. Finally, Chicago Equity Partners LLC boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 9.3% in the first quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC now owns 2,700 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $265,000 after buying an additional 230 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.97% of the company’s stock.

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About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated is a provider of diagnostic information services. The Company operates through two businesses: Diagnostic Information Services and Diagnostic Solutions. The Diagnostic Information Services business develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, providing insights that empower and enable a range of customers, including patients, clinicians, hospitals, integrated delivery networks (IDNs), health plans, employers and accountable care organizations (ACOs).

Analyst Recommendations for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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