Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) saw a large growth in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,790,000 shares, a growth of 5.9% from the September 30th total of 3,580,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 911,800 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 4.2 days. Currently, 2.8% of the shares of the company are short sold.

DGX stock traded down $0.24 on Monday, reaching $103.98. The company had a trading volume of 795,112 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,070,352. Quest Diagnostics has a 1 year low of $78.95 and a 1 year high of $107.97. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a current ratio of 0.88. The company’s fifty day moving average is $102.91 and its 200 day moving average is $101.47. The company has a market cap of $13.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.48, a PEG ratio of 2.16 and a beta of 0.85.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 22nd. The medical research company reported $1.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.71 by $0.05. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 15.32% and a net margin of 9.58%. The firm had revenue of $1.96 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.94 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.68 EPS. Quest Diagnostics’s revenue was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Quest Diagnostics will post 6.5 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Quest Diagnostics news, CAO Michael J. Deppe sold 5,000 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.00, for a total value of $530,000.00. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 28,671 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,039,126. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 1.86% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Pearl River Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $28,000. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $29,000. Berman Capital Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 47.7% in the 2nd quarter. Berman Capital Advisors LLC now owns 319 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $32,000 after buying an additional 103 shares in the last quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 108.4% in the 3rd quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 346 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $36,000 after acquiring an additional 180 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Quest Capital Management Inc. ADV acquired a new position in Quest Diagnostics in the 3rd quarter valued at $42,000. 91.68% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Quest Diagnostics from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $111.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, September 30th. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and set a $113.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Wednesday, October 23rd. UBS Group decreased their price target on Quest Diagnostics from $103.00 to $102.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 21st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price target on Quest Diagnostics from $100.00 to $111.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 24th. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on Quest Diagnostics from $111.00 to $121.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, August 23rd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. Quest Diagnostics currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $105.27.

About Quest Diagnostics

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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