ValuEngine Downgrades Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) to Sell

ValuEngine cut shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Friday, ValuEngine reports.

DGX has been the topic of several other reports. Evercore ISI reissued a buy rating and set a $108.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Thursday, August 8th. Canaccord Genuity reissued a buy rating and set a $113.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Wednesday, October 23rd. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $111.00 to $121.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Friday, August 23rd. 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. Finally, UBS Group cut 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. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $106.07.

Shares of Quest Diagnostics stock opened at $106.50 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a current ratio of 0.88 and a quick ratio of 0.83. The company has a 50-day moving average of $103.39 and a 200 day moving average of $102.04. The firm has a market cap of $14.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.88, a PEG ratio of 2.24 and a beta of 0.85. Quest Diagnostics has a 1 year low of $78.95 and a 1 year high of $108.30.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 22nd. The medical research company reported $1.76 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.71 by $0.05. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 9.58% and a return on equity of 15.32%. The company had revenue of $1.96 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.94 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.68 EPS. Quest Diagnostics’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Quest Diagnostics will post 6.49 EPS 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 dividend of $0.53 per share. This represents a $2.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.99%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, January 13th. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is presently 33.60%.

In other 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 owns 22,951 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,459,658.67. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CAO Michael J. Deppe sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.00, for a total transaction of $530,000.00. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 28,671 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,039,126. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.86% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Pearl River Capital LLC bought a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $28,000. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $29,000. Berman Capital Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 47.7% in the 2nd quarter. Berman Capital Advisors LLC now owns 319 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $32,000 after purchasing an additional 103 shares during the period. NuWave Investment Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 108.4% in the 3rd quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 346 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $36,000 after purchasing an additional 180 shares during the period. Finally, Quest Capital Management Inc. ADV bought a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $42,000. 88.15% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Quest Diagnostics Company 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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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