Stocks: Quest Diagnostics Inc. (DGX) Receives Sell Rating from the Bank of America Corp.

Stocks: Quest Diagnostics Inc. (DGX) Receives Sell Rating from the Bank of America Corp.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX)‘s stock had its “sell” rating reaffirmed by equities research analysts at Bank of America Corp. in a research note issued on Monday. They currently have a $78.00 price target on the stock. Bank of America Corp.’s target price would indicate a potential downside of 4.25% from the company’s previous close.

Several other equities analysts have also recently commented on DGX. Canaccord Genuity set a $90.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 20th. Evercore ISI reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $89.50 price target (up previously from $78.50) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Sunday, July 24th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $94.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Mizuho increased their price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $86.00 to $88.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, October 21st. Finally, Jefferies Group raised their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $75.00 to $86.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $82.23.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) opened at 81.46 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $11.29 billion, a PE ratio of 17.29 and a beta of 0.62. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $82.97 and its 200 day moving average price is $81.40. Quest Diagnostics has a 52-week low of $59.66 and a 52-week high of $86.85.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, topping the 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 business had revenue of $1.89 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.53 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.28 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.10 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared 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 represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.21%. This is a boost from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is 34.04%.

In related news, Director Jenne K. Britell sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.76, for a total transaction of $339,040.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC raised its position in Quest Diagnostics by 311.7% in the first quarter. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC now owns 7,591 shares of the company’s stock worth $542,000 after buying an additional 5,747 shares in the last quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. raised its position in Quest Diagnostics by 79.7% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 10,446 shares of the company’s stock worth $747,000 after buying an additional 4,633 shares in the last quarter. Lowe Brockenbrough & Co. Inc. raised its position in Quest Diagnostics by 2.8% in the first quarter. Lowe Brockenbrough & Co. Inc. now owns 29,410 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,101,000 after buying an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. raised its position in Quest Diagnostics by 5.8% in the first quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 11,583 shares of the company’s stock worth $834,000 after buying an additional 636 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Squarepoint Ops LLC bought a new position in Quest Diagnostics during the first quarter worth approximately $1,691,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.86% of the company’s stock.

Quest Diagnostics Company Profile

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