Bank of America Corp. Reiterates “Sell” Rating for Quest Diagnostics Inc. (DGX)
Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX)‘s stock had its “sell” rating restated by Bank of America Corp. in a report issued on Monday. They currently have a $78.00 price target on the stock. Bank of America Corp.’s price target would indicate a potential downside of 8.45% from the company’s current price.
A number of other analysts also recently commented on DGX. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 20th. Jefferies Group increased their price objective on Quest Diagnostics from $75.00 to $86.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Evercore ISI reissued a “hold” rating and set a $89.50 price objective (up from $78.50) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Sunday, July 24th. Mizuho lowered Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $84.00 to $86.00 in a report on Wednesday, August 31st. Finally, Citigroup Inc. initiated coverage on Quest Diagnostics in a report on Friday, September 9th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $86.00 price objective for the company. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $83.14.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) opened at 85.20 on Monday. Quest Diagnostics has a one year low of $59.66 and a one year high of $86.85. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $82.97 and a 200 day moving average price of $81.40. The firm has a market capitalization of $11.81 billion, a PE ratio of 18.08 and a beta of 0.62.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The company reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.02. The company earned $1.89 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.53 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 14.57% and a net margin of 9.01%. Quest Diagnostics’s revenue was up .3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.28 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.10 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 25th. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.45 per share. This is a positive change from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.11%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 34.04%.
In other Quest Diagnostics news, Director Jenne K. Britell sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.76, for a total transaction of $339,040.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Financial Architects Inc increased its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 6.4% in the second quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 1,476 shares of the company’s stock worth $120,000 after buying an additional 89 shares during the last quarter. TLP Group LLC purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics during the third quarter worth $130,000. Pinkerton Retirement Specialists LLC increased its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 792.4% in the second quarter. Pinkerton Retirement Specialists LLC now owns 1,651 shares of the company’s stock worth $134,000 after buying an additional 1,466 shares during the last quarter. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC increased its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 10.4% in the second quarter. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC now owns 1,869 shares of the company’s stock worth $152,000 after buying an additional 176 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Creative Planning increased its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 13.5% in the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 1,972 shares of the company’s stock worth $161,000 after buying an additional 234 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.86% of the company’s stock.
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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