Equities research analysts expect Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) to post $1.43 earnings per share (EPS) for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Nine analysts have made estimates for Quest Diagnostics’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $1.34 to $1.46. Quest Diagnostics reported earnings per share of $1.37 in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year-over-year growth rate of 4.4%. The firm is expected to report its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 19th.

On average, analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will report full year earnings of $5.69 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.66 to $5.73. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the company will post earnings of $5.90 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.54 to $6.08. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that follow Quest Diagnostics.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical research company reported $1.55 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.42 by $0.13. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 15.66% and a net margin of 9.28%. The business had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.94 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.34 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis.

Several research analysts have commented on DGX shares. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Bank of America Corporation upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the company from $111.00 to $118.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, May 22nd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group restated a “neutral” rating and set a $110.00 target price (up from $83.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $111.09.

In other news, Chairman Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 2,525 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.03, for a total transaction of $272,775.75. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 168,413 shares in the company, valued at $18,193,656.39. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 59,762 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.55, for a total transaction of $6,427,403.10. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 78,582 shares in the company, valued at $8,451,494.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 67,690 shares of company stock worth $7,284,296. Insiders own 1.75% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DGX. Profund Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 9.8% during the first quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 5,673 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $557,000 after purchasing an additional 507 shares in the last quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 17.1% during the first quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 3,022 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $297,000 after purchasing an additional 442 shares in the last quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 9.3% during the first quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC now owns 2,700 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $265,000 after purchasing an additional 230 shares in the last quarter. Henderson Group PLC boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 3.4% during the first quarter. Henderson Group PLC now owns 15,362 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,508,000 after purchasing an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, US Bancorp DE boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 9.9% during the first quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 17,909 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,758,000 after purchasing an additional 1,608 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.07% of the company’s stock.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE DGX) traded down 0.65% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $107.53. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 512,166 shares. Quest Diagnostics has a one year low of $79.12 and a one year high of $112.97. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $107.21 and a 200 day moving average price of $105.11. The firm has a market cap of $14.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.67 and a beta of 0.69.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 18th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.45 per share. 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 Monday, October 2nd. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 36.29%.

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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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Earnings History and Estimates for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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