First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. decreased its stake in Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) by 7.5% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 25,155 shares of the medical research company’s stock after selling 2,029 shares during the period. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co.’s holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $2,997,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in DGX. Kestra Advisory Services LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 3rd quarter worth about $956,000. Hall Laurie J Trustee bought a new position in Quest Diagnostics in the 3rd quarter worth about $34,000. Hudock Inc. bought a new position in Quest Diagnostics in the 3rd quarter worth about $34,000. RMR Wealth Builders acquired a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the second quarter valued at approximately $35,000. Finally, Princeton Global Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 100.0% during the third quarter. Princeton Global Asset Management LLC now owns 320 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $37,000 after buying an additional 160 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 78.87% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts recently commented on DGX shares. Morgan Stanley cut Quest Diagnostics from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 17th. Mizuho raised their price target on Quest Diagnostics from $144.00 to $149.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 26th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $130.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 22nd. Jefferies Financial Group raised their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $125.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 14th. Finally, Argus upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $126.83.

Quest Diagnostics stock opened at $125.45 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $16.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.51, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.42 and a beta of 1.08. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated has a 1 year low of $73.02 and a 1 year high of $131.81. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $122.27 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $119.90. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 1.32 and a current ratio of 1.40.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 22nd. The medical research company reported $4.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.75 by $0.56. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 19.23% and a net margin of 13.22%. The business had revenue of $2.79 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.71 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.76 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 42.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts predict that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated will post 10.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 3rd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.56 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 19th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.79%. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is presently 34.15%.

In other news, Director Daniel Stanzione sold 11,223 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $126.30, for a total value of $1,417,464.90. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 33,951 shares in the company, valued at $4,288,011.30. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 291,997 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total value of $35,039,640.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 529,744 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $63,569,280. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 395,426 shares of company stock valued at $47,604,325 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

About Quest Diagnostics

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

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

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