Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (DGX) Receives New Coverage from Analysts at Argus

Stock analysts at Argus initiated coverage on shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) in a note issued to investors on Friday, May 12th, MarketBeat.com reports. The brokerage set a “hold” rating and a $102.00 price target on the medical research company’s stock. Argus’ price target points to a potential downside of 5.27% from the company’s previous close.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Mizuho upped their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $110.00 to $115.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 26th. Canaccord Genuity upped their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $102.00 to $115.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Evercore ISI reissued an “in-line” rating and set a $104.50 target price (up previously from $102.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Monday, April 24th. Barclays PLC reissued an “equal weight” rating and set a $100.00 target price (up previously from $98.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 target price (up previously from $108.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $108.81.

Analyst Recommendations for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) traded down 0.06% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $107.67. 915,741 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a market cap of $14.73 billion, a PE ratio of 21.67 and a beta of 0.72. Quest Diagnostics has a 1-year low of $76.73 and a 1-year high of $110.28. The company has a 50-day moving average of $107.46 and a 200-day moving average of $98.27.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 20th. The medical research company reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.15. The company had revenue of $1.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.87 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 9.34% and a return on equity of 15.22%. Quest Diagnostics’s quarterly revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.12 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.57 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 24th. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th will be issued a $0.45 dividend. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.67%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 6th. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is currently 36.29%.

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In other Quest Diagnostics news, Director Jenne K. Britell sold 6,111 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.03, for a total transaction of $635,727.33. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 29,513 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.00, for a total value of $2,951,300.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 41,335 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,133,500. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Parallel Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the fourth quarter valued at about $101,000. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 1.5% in the first quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 1,188 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 18 shares in the last quarter. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. acquired a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the third quarter valued at about $110,000. TLP Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the third quarter valued at about $130,000. Finally, DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral Genossenschafts Bank Frankfurt am Main acquired a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the fourth quarter valued at about $145,000. 92.04% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Quest Diagnostics Company Profile

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).

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