Wall Street brokerages expect that Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) will post earnings of $1.39 per share for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Ten analysts have provided estimates for Quest Diagnostics’ earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $1.34 and the highest is $1.55. Quest Diagnostics reported earnings per share of $1.31 in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 6.1%. The company is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, February 1st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will report full-year earnings of $5.65 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.62 to $5.67. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the company will report earnings of $5.96 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.64 to $6.64. Zacks’ EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of research firms that cover Quest Diagnostics.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The medical research company reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.04. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 8.82% and a return on equity of 15.53%. The business had revenue of $1.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.92 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.37 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on DGX shares. Mizuho set a $103.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Goldman Sachs Group cut shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “conviction-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $121.00 to $113.00 in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Canaccord Genuity increased their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $100.00 to $105.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. Quest Diagnostics currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $106.45.

In other news, EVP J. E. Davis sold 63,880 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $98.68, for a total transaction of $6,303,678.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 101,423 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,008,421.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 1.75% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 3.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,029,322 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,559,500,000 after buying an additional 525,200 shares during the period. APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 156.0% in the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 2,683,901 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $251,320,000 after buying an additional 1,635,700 shares during the period. Allianz Asset Management GmbH boosted its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 10.5% in the third quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 2,033,496 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $190,417,000 after buying an additional 193,829 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 21.7% in the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,926,757 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $180,422,000 after buying an additional 343,399 shares during the period. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 24.1% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,801,477 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $168,690,000 after buying an additional 349,703 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 88.92% of the company’s stock.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) traded up $0.27 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $101.49. 520,500 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 804,264. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 1.37 and a current ratio of 1.47. Quest Diagnostics has a 1-year low of $90.10 and a 1-year high of $112.96. The firm has a market cap of $13,890.00, a PE ratio of 21.14, a PEG ratio of 2.00 and a beta of 0.60.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 24th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, January 9th will be given a dividend of $0.45 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, January 8th. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.77%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 37.50%.

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

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