Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) shot up 9.3% on Tuesday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The company traded as high as $94.52 and last traded at $93.08. 3,584,096 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 172% from the average session volume of 1,318,206 shares. The stock had previously closed at $85.18.

The medical research company reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.36 by $0.04. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 9.77% and a return on equity of 15.23%. The firm had revenue of $1.89 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.87 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $152.00 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up .4% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 22nd. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 8th were issued a $0.53 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, April 5th. This represents a $2.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.24%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.60%.

A number of brokerages have commented on DGX. Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $103.00 price objective (up previously from $97.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Wednesday. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday. Citigroup boosted their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $93.00 to $102.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday. UBS Group boosted their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $91.00 to $99.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $93.00 to $107.00 in a report on Tuesday, April 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $103.17.

In other news, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 336 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.23, for a total value of $29,645.28. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 42,108 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,715,188.84. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Gail R. Wilensky sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.78, for a total transaction of $702,240.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 34,604 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,037,539.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 88,106 shares of company stock worth $7,935,229. Company insiders own 1.86% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of DGX. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the 4th quarter valued at about $45,000. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. grew its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 32.7% during the 4th quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 544 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $45,000 after buying an additional 134 shares during the last quarter. Doyle Wealth Management bought a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the 4th quarter valued at about $48,000. Spectrum Management Group Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the 4th quarter valued at about $58,000. Finally, First Personal Financial Services grew its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 57.1% during the 1st quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 655 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $59,000 after buying an additional 238 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.24% of the company’s stock.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a current ratio of 0.94. The stock has a market cap of $11.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.02, a PEG ratio of 2.02 and a beta of 0.90.

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About Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing, information, and services in the United States and internationally. The company develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, such as routine testing, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, anatomic pathology testing, and other diagnostic information services.

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