Laffer Investments continued to hold its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 19,195 shares of the medical research company’s stock at the end of the second quarter. Laffer Investments’ holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $2,134,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Schnieders Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Schnieders Capital Management LLC now owns 2,366 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $263,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. Parallel Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,291 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $140,000 after purchasing an additional 12 shares during the period. First American Trust FSB boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. First American Trust FSB now owns 4,395 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $489,000 after purchasing an additional 14 shares during the period. Hills Bank & Trust Co. boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Hills Bank & Trust Co. now owns 2,560 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $285,000 after purchasing an additional 35 shares during the period. Finally, Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,300 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $478,000 after purchasing an additional 40 shares during the period. 87.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE DGX) traded down 1.622% on Tuesday, reaching $102.175. 507,904 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company’s 50 day moving average is $106.76 and its 200-day moving average is $105.40. The stock has a market cap of $13.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.591 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 quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical research company reported $1.55 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.42 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.94 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 9.28% and a return on equity of 15.66%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.34 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated will post $5.69 EPS for the current year.

The firm 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 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.73%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, October 2nd. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 36.29%.

In other news, Chairman Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 2,525 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.03, for a total value of $272,775.75. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 168,413 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,193,656.39. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Daniel Stanzione sold 3,803 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.01, for a total transaction of $410,762.03. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 35,359 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,819,125.59. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 161,996 shares of company stock worth $17,517,207. Insiders own 1.75% of the company’s stock.

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A number of research firms have recently commented on DGX. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. UBS AG increased their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $115.00 to $123.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Mizuho increased their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $115.00 to $122.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, June 5th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, Barclays PLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $110.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $111.09.

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

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