UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. Purchases 243,669 Shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX)

UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its position in Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) by 34.1% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the 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. owned about 0.72% of Quest Diagnostics worth $114,164,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 4th quarter worth approximately $88,000. Freedman Financial Associates Inc. bought a new position in Quest Diagnostics in the fourth quarter worth approximately $42,000. First Mercantile Trust Co. purchased a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the 4th quarter worth $48,000. Hoover Financial Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the 4th quarter valued at $50,000. Finally, Vantage Consulting Group Inc purchased a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 4th quarter worth $51,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 85.71% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:DGX opened at $127.74 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 1.40, a quick ratio of 1.32 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated has a 12 month low of $84.00 and a 12 month high of $134.71. The company has a market capitalization of $17.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.79, a PEG ratio of 0.44 and a beta of 1.07. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $122.52 and its 200 day moving average is $122.20.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 4th. The medical research company reported $4.48 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $4.28 by $0.20. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 19.23% and a net margin of 13.22%. The firm had revenue of $3 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.92 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.67 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 55.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated will post 10.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 21st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, April 7th will be paid a $0.62 dividend. This is a positive change from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, April 6th. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.94%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.15%.

Quest Diagnostics declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 4th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the medical research company to purchase up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

Several analysts have issued reports on DGX shares. Robert W. Baird reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $137.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Thursday, March 18th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Quest Diagnostics from $130.00 to $136.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 18th. Finally, Citigroup raised their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $151.00 to $158.00 in a research note on Friday, January 29th. Ten equities research 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. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $128.94.

In other Quest Diagnostics news, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 1,188 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $116.95, for a total value of $138,936.60. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 42,596 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,981,602.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 5,574 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.47, for a total transaction of $671,499.78. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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

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