Traders Purchase Large Volume of Call Options on Quest Diagnostics (DGX)
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Investors purchased 8,847 call options on the company. This represents an increase of Infinity compared to the typical daily volume of 0 call options.
Shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE DGX) opened at $92.00 on Tuesday. Quest Diagnostics has a 52-week low of $83.03 and a 52-week high of $112.96. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 1.47 and a quick ratio of 1.37. The stock has a market cap of $12,546.36, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.50, a P/E/G ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 0.59.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The medical research company reported $1.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.04. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 8.82% and a return on equity of 15.53%. The business had revenue of $1.93 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.92 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.37 EPS. Quest Diagnostics’s revenue was up 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics will post 5.65 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 18th. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 3rd were given a $0.45 dividend. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.96%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, October 2nd. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is currently 37.74%.
In other Quest Diagnostics news, Chairman Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 59,235 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.16, for a total transaction of $6,406,857.60. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 220,049 shares in the company, valued at $23,800,499.84. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Chairman Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 2,525 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.03, for a total transaction of $272,775.75. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 168,413 shares in the company, valued at $18,193,656.39. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 160,396 shares of company stock worth $17,343,852 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 1.75% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Schnieders Capital Management LLC grew its position in 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 purchasing an additional 6 shares during the period. Parallel Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,291 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $140,000 after acquiring an additional 12 shares during the last quarter. Hills Bank & Trust Co. boosted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Hills Bank & Trust Co. now owns 2,560 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $285,000 after acquiring an additional 35 shares during the last quarter. Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,300 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $478,000 after acquiring an additional 40 shares during the last quarter. Finally, CENTRAL TRUST Co boosted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 2.7% during the 2nd quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 2,099 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $233,000 after acquiring an additional 55 shares during the last quarter. 88.18% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
A number of brokerages have issued reports on DGX. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Mizuho set a $103.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. Canaccord Genuity raised their price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $100.00 to $105.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Barclays PLC restated a “hold” rating and issued a $110.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Quest Diagnostics presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $106.18.
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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 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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