Brokerages expect that Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) will announce sales of $1.89 billion for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Eight analysts have issued estimates for Quest Diagnostics’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $1.87 billion to $1.93 billion. Quest Diagnostics posted sales of $1.94 billion during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year over year growth rate of 2.6%. The company is scheduled to report its next earnings report on Thursday, February 7th.

On average, analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will report full year sales of $7.58 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $7.57 billion to $7.62 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the business will report sales of $7.77 billion, with estimates ranging from $7.68 billion to $7.88 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that follow Quest Diagnostics.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The medical research company reported $1.68 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.68. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 11.30% and a return on equity of 15.71%. The company had revenue of $1.89 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.95 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.38 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, November 30th. Barclays dropped their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $125.00 to $117.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, November 30th. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $98.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Friday, November 30th. Credit Suisse Group dropped their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $121.00 to $103.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, November 30th. Finally, Bank of America downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, December 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. Quest Diagnostics has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $106.19.

Shares of NYSE DGX opened at $87.56 on Friday. Quest Diagnostics has a 1-year low of $85.56 and a 1-year high of $116.49. The stock has a market capitalization of $12.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.21, a P/E/G ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a quick ratio of 1.09, a current ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 30th. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.53 per share. This represents a $2.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.42%. This is an increase from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.50. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, January 14th. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is 37.04%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 8,866.7% during the second quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 1,076 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $118,000 after purchasing an additional 1,064 shares during the period. Fort L.P. acquired a new position in Quest Diagnostics during the second quarter valued at approximately $121,000. Capital Advisors Ltd. LLC acquired a new position in Quest Diagnostics during the third quarter valued at approximately $123,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Quest Diagnostics during the second quarter valued at approximately $126,000. Finally, Belpointe Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in Quest Diagnostics during the third quarter valued at approximately $125,000. 86.26% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing information and services in the United States and internationally. The company's Diagnostic Information Services business segment develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, such as routine testing, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, gene-based and esoteric testing, anatomic pathology, and other diagnostic information services.

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