Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Tuesday. The firm currently has $102.00 target price on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Ahead of its fourth quarter earnings release, we note that, over the past three months, Quest Diagnostics traded above the Zacks categorized Medical – Outpatient and Home Healthcare industry. The upside is backed by the successful execution of the company’s strategy to grow its esoteric testing and drive profitable growth. In the recent past, Quest Diagnostics witnessed significant growth through infectious disease testing, prescription drug monitoring and wellness business. Within prescription drug monitoring, the company currently has two new Zika tests that are awaiting FDA clearance. Besides, the company also piloted a program for noninvasive prenatal screening to serve women of average risk in select regions. We are also looking forward to the company's latest alliance with Ancestry. Also IBM and Quest Diagnostics’ combined launch of IBM Watson Genomics is also expected to have a positive impact on results in the fourth quarter.”
A number of other analysts also recently commented on the company. Canaccord Genuity set a $90.00 price objective on Quest Diagnostics and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, October 20th. Mizuho reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $88.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Wednesday, November 30th. Barclays PLC set a $85.00 price objective on Quest Diagnostics and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Monday, November 14th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a buy rating and issued a $108.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Wednesday, January 18th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation reiterated a sell rating and issued a $78.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Monday, November 14th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Quest Diagnostics currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $88.54.
Shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) traded up 0.88% on Tuesday, reaching $92.14. The company had a trading volume of 213,883 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $12.77 billion, a PE ratio of 19.55 and a beta of 0.66. The company’s 50-day moving average is $91.86 and its 200 day moving average is $86.00. Quest Diagnostics has a 12 month low of $59.66 and a 12 month high of $93.84.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 25th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, January 10th will be paid a $0.45 dividend. This is a boost from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.97%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, January 6th. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.30%.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its stake 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 valued at $384,077,000 after buying an additional 1,022,240 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 1.8% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 4,265,792 shares of the company’s stock valued at $361,014,000 after buying an additional 77,423 shares during the period. BlackRock Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 3.1% in the third quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 3,697,917 shares of the company’s stock valued at $312,955,000 after buying an additional 111,679 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 0.9% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 3,088,078 shares of the company’s stock valued at $261,344,000 after buying an additional 28,019 shares during the period. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 10.2% in the third quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 2,778,803 shares of the company’s stock valued at $235,171,000 after buying an additional 257,003 shares during the period. 87.71% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
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.
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