Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (DGX) Downgraded by Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The)

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) cut shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) from a conviction-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning. They currently have $113.00 price objective on the medical research company’s stock, down from their prior price objective of $121.00.

A number of other analysts have also commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Quest Diagnostics from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $110.00 to $99.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, September 28th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Quest Diagnostics from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 26th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reaffirmed a market perform rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Monday, September 25th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $118.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Wednesday, September 13th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $109.09.

Shares of Quest Diagnostics (DGX) opened at 91.52 on Tuesday. Quest Diagnostics has a one year low of $79.12 and a one year high of $112.97. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $100.62 and its 200-day moving average is $104.79. The stock has a market capitalization of $12.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.44 and a beta of 0.65.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last posted its quarterly earnings data 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. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 9.28% and a return on equity of 15.66%. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.94 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.34 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.65 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 18th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 3rd will be given a $0.45 dividend. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.97%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, October 2nd. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 36.29%.

In other news, Chairman Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 59,235 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.16, for a total value of $6,406,857.60. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 220,049 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $23,800,499.84. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 2,525 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.03, for a total transaction of $272,775.75. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 168,413 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,193,656.39. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 161,996 shares of company stock valued at $17,517,207 over the last three months. 1.75% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. WFG Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 45.3% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 966 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $107,000 after purchasing an additional 301 shares in the last quarter. Sun Life Financial INC lifted its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 14,142.9% in the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 997 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $111,000 after purchasing an additional 990 shares in the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 16.1% in the first quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,279 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $137,000 after purchasing an additional 177 shares in the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 300.0% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,600 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $178,000 after purchasing an additional 1,200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the second quarter worth approximately $180,000. 87.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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