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Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) was upgraded by Zacks from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report issued on Friday, Analyst Ratings Net reports. The firm currently has a $54.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks‘ price target would indicate a potential upside of 5.76% from the stock’s previous close.

Zacks‘ analyst wrote, “After several of quarters of disappointing performances, Quest Diagnostics managed to post a decent fourth quarter 2013 with square beat. The quarter’s adjusted EPS from continuing operations of $1.03 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.6% and the year-ago earnings by 2%. Although, revenue from continuing operations for the quarter was down 1.0% year over year to $1.76 billion, it remained marginally ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.73 billion. The current market environment continues to pose challenges in the form of lower health care utilization and Medicare cuts. However, we are positive on favorable demographic trend, the company’s organizational restructuring initiative and its strategy to focus on core diagnostics information service business. Accordingly, we upgrade the stock to Neutral. “

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) traded down 0.53% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $50.79. 1,593,273 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Quest Diagnostics has a 52 week low of $50.51 and a 52 week high of $64.10. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $53.39 and a 200-day moving average of $58.42. The company has a market cap of $7.314 billion and a P/E ratio of 9.22.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 30th. The company reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $1.76 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.74 billion. Analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will post $4.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Wednesday, April 23rd. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, April 8th will be given a dividend of 0.33 per share. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, April 4th. This is a boost from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30.

A number of other firms have also recently commented on DGX. Analysts at SunTrust cut their price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $66.00 to $60.00 in a research note to investors on Friday, January 31st. Separately, analysts at UBS AG cut their EPS estimates on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Friday. They now have a “neutral” rating and a $56.00 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at Deutsche Bank cut their price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $62.00 to $59.00 in a research note to investors on Friday, January 31st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. Quest Diagnostics has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $59.11.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX), is a provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, providing insights that enable patients and physicians to make healthcare decisions.

To view Zacks’ full report, visit www.zacks.com

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