Highland Capital Management LLC reduced its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX) by 6.6% during the third quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 31,673 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,255 shares during the period. Highland Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $2,680,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Quest Diagnostics by 1.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 12,912,806 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,051,231,000 after buying an additional 233,179 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its position in Quest Diagnostics by 27.7% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 4,717,816 shares of the company’s stock worth $384,077,000 after buying an additional 1,022,240 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC boosted its position in Quest Diagnostics by 2.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 3,586,238 shares of the company’s stock worth $291,956,000 after buying an additional 68,928 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management boosted its position in Quest Diagnostics by 1.3% in the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 3,532,644 shares of the company’s stock worth $287,592,000 after buying an additional 44,719 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its position in Quest Diagnostics by 4.5% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 3,060,059 shares of the company’s stock worth $249,119,000 after buying an additional 132,250 shares in the last quarter. 86.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The company reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.02. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 9.01% and a return on equity of 14.57%. The company earned $1.89 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.53 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.28 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 25th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 10th will be given a $0.45 dividend. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.04%. This is an increase from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is 34.04%.
A number of research analysts recently commented on DGX shares. Canaccord Genuity set a $90.00 target price on Quest Diagnostics and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 20th. Mizuho increased their target price on Quest Diagnostics from $86.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, October 21st. Bank of America Corp. reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $78.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Monday, November 14th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 21st. Finally, Citigroup Inc. started coverage on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Friday, September 9th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $86.00 price target for the company. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $83.14.
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 Company’s Diagnostic Information Services business develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services to patients, physicians, health plans, hospitals, accountable care organizations (ACOs), integrated delivery networks (IDNs), other commercial laboratories, employers and others.