Palo Capital Inc. Buys 214 Shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX)

Palo Capital Inc. increased its position in Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) by 2.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 10,655 shares of the medical research company’s stock after buying an additional 214 shares during the period. Palo Capital Inc.’s holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $1,184,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. First American Trust FSB boosted its position in Quest Diagnostics by 0.3% in the second quarter. First American Trust FSB now owns 4,395 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $489,000 after buying an additional 14 shares during the period. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC boosted its position in 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 worth $127,000 after buying an additional 18 shares during the period. Hills Bank & Trust Co. boosted its position in Quest Diagnostics by 1.4% in the second quarter. Hills Bank & Trust Co. now owns 2,560 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $285,000 after buying an additional 35 shares during the period. Leavell Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in Quest Diagnostics by 0.5% in the first quarter. Leavell Investment Management Inc. now owns 7,891 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $775,000 after buying an additional 41 shares during the period. Finally, HighPoint Advisor Group LLC boosted its position in Quest Diagnostics by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC now owns 7,914 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $779,000 after buying an additional 42 shares during the period. 90.97% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (DGX) traded up 0.46% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $106.10. 849,396 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $108.82 and its 200-day moving average is $103.03. The stock has a market cap of $14.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.38 and a beta of 0.69. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated has a 52 week low of $79.12 and a 52 week high of $112.97.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical research company reported $1.55 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.42 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.94 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 15.66% and a net margin of 9.28%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.34 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated will post $5.70 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 24th. Investors of record on Monday, July 10th were paid a $0.45 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.70%. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is 36.29%.

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A number of research analysts have recently commented on the stock. UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $115.00 target price (up previously from $102.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Tuesday, April 25th. Evercore ISI reiterated an “in-line” rating and issued a $104.50 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Barclays PLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $110.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Mizuho raised their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $115.00 to $122.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, June 5th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $118.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Tuesday, June 13th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $109.62.

In related news, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 59,762 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.55, for a total value of $6,427,403.10. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 78,582 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,451,494.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 296 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.66, for a total value of $31,571.36. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 6,000 shares in the company, valued at $639,960. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 61,362 shares of company stock worth $6,600,758. 1.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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 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).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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