Shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) have been assigned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the fifteen ratings firms that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The average 1 year price objective among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $108.81.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on DGX shares. Barclays PLC boosted their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $92.00 to $98.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 7th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating and set a $113.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, March 14th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $96.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Thursday, March 16th. Bank of America Corporation upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $85.00 to $103.00 in a research report on Thursday, March 16th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $110.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, March 29th.

Shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) traded down 0.35% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $107.29. 353,294 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $107.46 and a 200-day moving average price of $98.27. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.60 and a beta of 0.72. Quest Diagnostics has a 52 week low of $75.20 and a 52 week high of $110.28.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 20th. The medical research company reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.15. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 9.34% and a return on equity of 15.22%. The company had revenue of $1.90 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.87 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.12 EPS. Quest Diagnostics’s quarterly revenue was up 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 24th. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 10th will be paid a $0.45 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.67%. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is 36.29%.

In other news, Director Jenne K. Britell sold 6,111 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.03, for a total value of $635,727.33. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 29,513 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $100.00, for a total transaction of $2,951,300.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 41,335 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,133,500. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Parallel Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics during the fourth quarter valued at about $101,000. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC raised its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 1.5% in the first quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 1,188 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 18 shares during the last quarter. DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral Genossenschafts Bank Frankfurt am Main purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics during the fourth quarter valued at about $145,000. Advisors Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics during the first quarter valued at about $164,000. Finally, Trust Co. of Vermont raised its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 8.5% in the first quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 1,859 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $182,000 after buying an additional 145 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.71% of the company’s stock.

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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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