Occidental Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) by 5.9% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 9,340 shares of the medical research company’s stock after buying an additional 520 shares during the period. Occidental Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $997,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. Polaris Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 2.5% during the 3rd quarter. Polaris Capital Management LLC now owns 460,079 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $49,242,000 after buying an additional 11,200 shares during the period. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $128,000. Colony Group LLC increased its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 14.6% in the 3rd quarter. Colony Group LLC now owns 8,113 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $868,000 after purchasing an additional 1,035 shares during the last quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 16.3% in the 3rd quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC now owns 32,625 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $3,491,000 after purchasing an additional 4,583 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Girard Partners LTD. increased its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 2.8% in the 3rd quarter. Girard Partners LTD. now owns 25,996 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $2,782,000 after purchasing an additional 703 shares during the last quarter. 88.08% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Quest Diagnostics stock opened at $106.73 on Thursday. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $106.33 and a two-hundred day moving average of $103.69. 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 has a market cap of $14.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.91, a PEG ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 0.85. Quest Diagnostics Inc has a one year low of $82.59 and a one year high of $108.95.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 22nd. The medical research company reported $1.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.71 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $1.96 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.94 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 9.58% and a return on equity of 15.32%. The business’s revenue was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.68 EPS. As a group, equities analysts predict that Quest Diagnostics Inc will post 6.49 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 29th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, January 14th will be issued a $0.53 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, January 13th. This represents a $2.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.99%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.60%.

In other Quest Diagnostics news, Director Gail R. Wilensky sold 8,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.17, for a total transaction of $857,360.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 22,951 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,459,658.67. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 44,556 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.43, for a total transaction of $4,786,651.08. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 51,321 shares in the company, valued at $5,513,415.03. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.86% of the company’s stock.

DGX has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. UBS Group dropped their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $103.00 to $102.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 21st. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $111.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, September 30th. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a $113.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Wednesday, October 23rd. Bank of America cut shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Friday, January 3rd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co assumed coverage on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Tuesday, January 7th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $100.00 price target for the company. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $106.07.

Quest Diagnostics Profile

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.

Further Reading: Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

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

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