Quest Diagnostics (DGX) Downgraded to Neutral at Bank of America

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Bank of America downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday, Marketbeat Ratings reports.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Argus set a $120.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, September 14th. Citigroup cut their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $112.00 to $104.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, November 30th. Canaccord Genuity lowered their price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $118.00 to $105.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 24th. Finally, William Blair reissued an outperform rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $106.19.

Shares of NYSE:DGX opened at $88.83 on Monday. Quest Diagnostics has a 52-week low of $85.56 and a 52-week high of $116.49. The stock has a market capitalization of $12.21 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.45, a PEG ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 1.15 and a quick ratio of 1.09.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The medical research company reported $1.68 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.68. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 11.30% and a return on equity of 15.71%. The business had revenue of $1.89 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.95 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.38 EPS. Quest Diagnostics’s revenue was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will post 6.38 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 30th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 15th will be issued a $0.53 dividend. This is a boost from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.50. This represents a $2.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.39%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, January 14th. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.04%.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 1.4% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,500,290 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,564,725,000 after purchasing an additional 201,951 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 4.8% during the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 6,708,232 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $723,882,000 after purchasing an additional 306,017 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 38.7% during the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 4,109,526 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $443,459,000 after purchasing an additional 1,147,470 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 4.3% during the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,675,725 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $288,737,000 after purchasing an additional 111,200 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 0.6% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 2,048,599 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $225,223,000 after purchasing an additional 11,848 shares during the period. 86.26% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Quest Diagnostics Company Profile

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing information and services in the United States and internationally. The company's Diagnostic Information Services business segment develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, such as routine testing, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, gene-based and esoteric testing, anatomic pathology, and other diagnostic information services.

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