Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) has been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the eighteen research firms that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating on the company. The average 1-year price objective among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $110.03.

Several research firms have weighed in on DGX. Zacks Investment Research cut Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Bank of America Corporation raised Quest Diagnostics from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $111.00 to $118.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Piper Jaffray Companies lifted their price objective on Quest Diagnostics to $107.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. BidaskClub cut Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Barclays PLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $110.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) traded down 0.10% on Tuesday, reaching $106.62. The company had a trading volume of 469,874 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.54 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.49 and a beta of 0.69. The company’s 50 day moving average is $109.18 and its 200-day moving average is $102.41. Quest Diagnostics has a one year low of $79.12 and a one year high of $112.96.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical research company reported $1.55 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.42 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.94 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 15.66% and a net margin of 9.28%. The business’s revenue was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.34 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 24th. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 10th were given a $0.45 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 6th. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.69%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is currently 36.29%.

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In related news, Director Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 1,304 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.73, for a total value of $141,783.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,296 shares in the company, valued at approximately $684,564.08. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 59,762 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.55, for a total transaction of $6,427,403.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 78,582 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,451,494.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in DGX. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 2,638.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,362,418 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,508,435,000 after buying an additional 14,801,397 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 2.7% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 6,918,900 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $679,362,000 after buying an additional 180,690 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 8.3% in the first quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 2,188,114 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $215,245,000 after buying an additional 167,246 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 5.2% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,022,107 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $198,551,000 after buying an additional 99,153 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE raised its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 0.6% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 1,887,303 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $185,315,000 after buying an additional 11,399 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 90.97% of the company’s stock.

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).

Analyst Recommendations for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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