Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) announced a quarterly dividend on Friday, August 18th, RTT News reports. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 3rd will be given a dividend of 0.45 per share by the medical research company on Wednesday, October 18th. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.71%.

Quest Diagnostics has raised its dividend payment by an average of 9.6% per year over the last three years and has increased its dividend every year for the last 5 years. Quest Diagnostics has a dividend payout ratio of 31.6% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect Quest Diagnostics to earn $5.90 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.80 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 30.5%.

Shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) opened at 105.37 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.24 and a beta of 0.69. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $108.39 and its 200 day moving average price is $103.43. Quest Diagnostics has a 12-month low of $79.12 and a 12-month high of $112.96.

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

Several equities analysts recently commented on the company. UBS AG upgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, April 21st. BidaskClub upgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $121.00 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Quest Diagnostics from $87.00 to $92.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Evercore ISI restated an “in-line” rating and set a $104.50 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $109.62.

In other news, Director Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 296 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.66, for a total value of $31,571.36. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 6,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $639,960. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 59,762 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.55, for a total value of $6,427,403.10. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 78,582 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,451,494.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 61,362 shares of company stock valued at $6,600,758. 1.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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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).

Dividend History for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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