Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) – William Blair dropped their Q3 2017 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for Quest Diagnostics in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. William Blair analyst A. Murphy now forecasts that the medical research company will post earnings per share of $1.43 for the quarter, down from their previous forecast of $1.45. William Blair also issued estimates for Quest Diagnostics’ FY2017 earnings at $5.68 EPS and Q3 2018 earnings at $1.53 EPS.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical research company reported $1.55 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.42 by $0.13. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.94 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 9.28% and a return on equity of 15.66%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.34 earnings per share.

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A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on DGX. UBS AG raised their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $115.00 to $123.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 6th. BidaskClub raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $121.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $87.00 to $92.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Evercore ISI reaffirmed an “in-line” rating and issued a $104.50 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Quest Diagnostics presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $111.09.

Shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE DGX) opened at 106.89 on Thursday. Quest Diagnostics has a one year low of $79.12 and a one year high of $112.97. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.54 and a beta of 0.69. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $107.15 and its 200-day moving average is $105.18.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 18th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 3rd will be paid a $0.45 dividend. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.68%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, October 2nd. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 36.29%.

In other news, CEO Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 53,933 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.16, for a total value of $5,833,393.28. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 220,049 shares in the company, valued at approximately $23,800,499.84. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 59,762 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 sale, the senior vice president now 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. Insiders sold a total of 221,758 shares of company stock valued at $23,944,610 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 1.75% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. WFG Advisors LP lifted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 45.3% in the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 966 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $107,000 after acquiring an additional 301 shares during the period. Toronto Dominion Bank lifted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 24.7% in the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 46,639 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $5,184,000 after acquiring an additional 9,242 shares during the period. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd lifted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 125.0% in the 2nd quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd now owns 10,512 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,169,000 after acquiring an additional 5,840 shares during the period. WINTON GROUP Ltd lifted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 38,710 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $4,303,000 after acquiring an additional 513 shares during the period. Finally, Verition Fund Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 2nd quarter worth $658,000. Institutional investors own 87.07% 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).

Earnings History and Estimates for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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