Todays Report: Today, Quest Diagnostics Inc. (DGX) Given Average Recommendation of “Hold” by Brokerages

Today, Quest Diagnostics Inc. (DGX) Given Average Recommendation of “Hold” by Brokerages

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX) has been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the sixteen brokerages that are currently covering the stock. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 12-month target price among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $84.25.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on the stock. Canaccord Genuity set a $90.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, November 14th. Barclays PLC set a $85.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, November 14th. Bank of America Corp. restated a “sell” rating and set a $78.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Monday, November 14th. Mizuho upped their price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $86.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, October 21st. Finally, 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 report on Wednesday, September 21st.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. raised its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 47.2% in the second quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 217,486 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,706,000 after buying an additional 69,734 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 63.6% in the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 2,521,800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $205,300,000 after buying an additional 980,063 shares during the last quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC raised its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 3,976.9% in the second quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC now owns 579,537 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,399,000 after buying an additional 565,322 shares during the last quarter. Everence Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics during the second quarter valued at $309,000. Finally, Oak Associates Ltd. OH raised its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 19.2% in the second quarter. Oak Associates Ltd. OH now owns 25,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,068,000 after buying an additional 4,100 shares during the last quarter. 86.81% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) traded down 0.36% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $88.00. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 410,565 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $12.20 billion, a PE ratio of 18.68 and a beta of 0.62. Quest Diagnostics has a 1-year low of $59.66 and a 1-year high of $88.43. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $83.41 and a 200 day moving average price of $82.13.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The company reported $1.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 analysts’ expectations of $1.53 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.28 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.10 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 25th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, January 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.45 per share. This is a positive change from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.04%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.04%.

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