UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) by 34.1% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 957,994 shares of the medical research company’s stock after purchasing an additional 243,669 shares during the period. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc.’s holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $114,164,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 1.0% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,464,215 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,366,191,000 after buying an additional 113,416 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Quest Diagnostics by 2.3% during the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,517,648 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $300,028,000 after acquiring an additional 55,410 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 4.3% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,927,478 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $229,685,000 after acquiring an additional 79,856 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 11.6% during the 4th quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,877,995 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $223,799,000 after purchasing an additional 194,810 shares during the period. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB increased its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 19.8% during the 4th quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 1,730,977 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $206,281,000 after purchasing an additional 286,486 shares in the last quarter. 85.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
In other Quest Diagnostics news, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 5,574 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.47, for a total transaction of $671,499.78. Also, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 1,188 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $116.95, for a total value of $138,936.60. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 42,596 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,981,602.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 4th. The medical research company reported $4.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $4.28 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $3 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.92 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 19.23% and a net margin of 13.22%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 55.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.67 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated will post 10.95 EPS for the current year.
Quest Diagnostics declared that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 4th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the medical research company to reacquire up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 21st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 7th will be given a $0.62 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 6th. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.94%. This is a boost from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is presently 34.15%.
A number of research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $137.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Thursday, March 18th. Citigroup raised their price objective on Quest Diagnostics from $151.00 to $158.00 in a report on Friday, January 29th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Quest Diagnostics from $130.00 to $136.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 18th. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Quest Diagnostics currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $128.94.
Quest Diagnostics Profile
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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