Laboratory Corp. of America (LH) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Over the past six months LabCorp has been trading above the broader industry. The company’s Diagnostics business continues to remain strong on improving price, mix, acquisition and favorable foreign exchange. Also after several quarters of dull show, Covance Drug Development reported strong growth on the back of the acquisition of Chiltern, strong organic growth and favorable foreign currency translation. An increased 2017 guidance boosts investors’ confidence indicating chances of this bullish trend to be maintained in the fourth quarter too. However, the current economic uncertainty including challenging volume environment for testing laboratories and utilization weaknesses are looming headwinds for LabCorp. Also, the company's revenue growth was constrained by the impact from multiple hurricanes during the last reported quarter.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Wells Fargo & Co began coverage on Laboratory Corp. of America in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $175.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $170.00 target price (up previously from $157.00) on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in a research note on Wednesday, September 13th. Craig Hallum reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $180.00 target price (up previously from $175.00) on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Robert W. Baird restated a “hold” rating and set a $150.00 price target on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Deutsche Bank boosted their price target on Laboratory Corp. of America from $170.00 to $172.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $171.69.

Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) opened at $170.54 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $17,170.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.79, a PEG ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 0.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18, a quick ratio of 1.75 and a current ratio of 1.89. Laboratory Corp. of America has a 52 week low of $128.00 and a 52 week high of $171.38.

Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The medical research company reported $2.46 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.38 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $2.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.55 billion. Laboratory Corp. of America had a return on equity of 16.75% and a net margin of 7.40%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $2.25 earnings per share. analysts forecast that Laboratory Corp. of America will post 9.53 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director Dwight Gary Gilliland sold 971 shares of Laboratory Corp. of America stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $153.52, for a total transaction of $149,067.92. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 3,501 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $537,473.52. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Zions Bancorporation lifted its holdings in Laboratory Corp. of America by 7,444.4% in the third quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 679 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $103,000 after acquiring an additional 670 shares during the period. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 16.5% during the 2nd quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 705 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Sun Life Financial INC raised its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 9,200.0% during the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 744 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 736 shares during the period. Teacher Retirement System of Texas acquired a new position in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $210,000. Finally, Institute for Wealth Management LLC. acquired a new position in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $220,000. 91.21% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Laboratory Corp. of America

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings is a life sciences company that is integrated in guiding patient care, providing clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services. The Company operates as a healthcare diagnostics company. The Company operates through two segments: LabCorp Diagnostics (LCD) and Covance Drug Development (CDD).

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