Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (DGX) Lifted to “Buy” at Bank of America Corporation
Bank of America Corporation upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday, Marketbeat.com reports. They currently have $118.00 price target on the medical research company’s stock, up from their previous price target of $111.00.
Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on DGX. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a buy rating and set a $115.00 price objective (up from $108.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Sunday, April 23rd. BidaskClub cut shares of Quest Diagnostics from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Quest Diagnostics from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, May 22nd. FBR & Co increased their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $103.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 12th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $116.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday, April 21st. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Quest Diagnostics currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $110.84.
Shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE DGX) traded up 0.48% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $109.51. 617,305 shares of the stock traded hands. Quest Diagnostics has a 1-year low of $79.12 and a 1-year high of $112.97. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $109.16 and a 200-day moving average of $102.05. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.07 and a beta of 0.70.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical research company reported $1.55 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.42 by $0.13. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 9.28% and a return on equity of 15.66%. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.94 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.34 earnings per share. Quest Diagnostics’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.67 earnings per share for the current year.
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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 24th. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 10th were issued a dividend of $0.45 per share. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.64%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 6th. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is currently 36.29%.
In other news, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 59,762 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.55, for a total transaction of $6,427,403.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 78,582 shares in the company, valued at $8,451,494.10. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 1.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Capstone Asset Management Co. boosted its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 9.9% in the first quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 118,913 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $11,676,000 after buying an additional 10,756 shares in the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 0.6% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 1,887,303 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $185,315,000 after buying an additional 11,399 shares in the last quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the first quarter worth about $458,000. Chicago Equity Partners LLC boosted its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 9.3% in the first quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC now owns 2,700 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $265,000 after buying an additional 230 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Gulf International Bank UK Ltd boosted its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 1.4% in the first quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 45,053 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $4,423,000 after buying an additional 625 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.81% of the company’s stock.
About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated is a provider of diagnostic information services. The Company operates through two businesses: Diagnostic Information Services and Diagnostic Solutions. The Diagnostic Information Services business develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, providing insights that empower and enable a range of customers, including patients, clinicians, hospitals, integrated delivery networks (IDNs), health plans, employers and accountable care organizations (ACOs).
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