Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (NYSE:LH) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $173.00 target price on the medical research company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 12.23% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Over the last three months LabCorp has been trading above the broader industry. Moreover, the company exited the last reported quarter on a promising note. While Diagnostics business was strong, Covance Drug Development provided dull numbers. As per LabCorp, the impact of the cancellation by sponsors of two large clinical studies in late 2016 affected the results. This apart, an unfavorable foreign exchange continues to hamper overall result. Yet, an increased 2017 guidance boosted investors’ confidence indicating chances of respite anytime soon. We believe that with the integration of newer acquisitions, LabCorp is perfectly positioned to drive long-term profitable growth. We are also upbeat about the company's recent acqusition of Chiltern, a specialty CRO for an all-cash transaction valued at roughly $1.2 billion.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. BidaskClub raised Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. ValuEngine downgraded Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, June 3rd. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $146.00 price target on shares of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings in a report on Sunday, May 28th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings from $154.00 to $166.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Craig Hallum reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $179.00 price target (up from $157.00) on shares of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $165.82.

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (NYSE LH) traded down 0.01% during trading on Thursday, hitting $154.14. 202,478 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $156.24 and its 200-day moving average is $147.88. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings has a 12 month low of $119.51 and a 12 month high of $164.22. The stock has a market cap of $15.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.59 and a beta of 0.94.

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (NYSE:LH) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The medical research company reported $2.47 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.40 by $0.07. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings had a return on equity of 16.85% and a net margin of 7.57%. The firm had revenue of $2.50 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.47 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $2.36 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings will post $9.54 EPS for the current year.

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In other Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings news, CFO Glenn A. Eisenberg sold 5,968 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $159.46, for a total value of $951,657.28. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 18,122 shares in the company, valued at $2,889,734.12. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Lisa J. Uthgenannt sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.00, for a total value of $800,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 222,968 shares of company stock valued at $34,980,922 in the last quarter. 0.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Regentatlantic Capital LLC increased its position in shares of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings by 0.5% in the second quarter. Regentatlantic Capital LLC now owns 1,696 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $261,000 after buying an additional 8 shares in the last quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. increased its position in shares of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings by 0.6% in the first quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. now owns 2,411 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $346,000 after buying an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. New Amsterdam Partners LLC NY increased its position in shares of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings by 0.7% in the second quarter. New Amsterdam Partners LLC NY now owns 3,847 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $593,000 after buying an additional 27 shares in the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings by 0.8% in the first quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 4,143 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $594,000 after buying an additional 31 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings by 0.3% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 14,137 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $2,028,000 after buying an additional 47 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.19% of the company’s stock.

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings Company Profile

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings is a life sciences company that is integrated in guiding patient care, providing clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services. The Company operates as a healthcare diagnostics company. The Company operates through two segments: LabCorp Diagnostics (LCD) and Covance Drug Development (CDD).

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