Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) Upgraded to “Buy” at StockNews.com

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGXGet Rating) was upgraded by StockNews.com from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Friday.

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Robert W. Baird reduced their price objective on Quest Diagnostics from $162.00 to $146.00 in a research note on Friday, February 4th. UBS Group boosted their price objective on Quest Diagnostics from $139.00 to $150.00 in a research note on Sunday, April 24th. Bank of America dropped their target price on Quest Diagnostics from $166.00 to $163.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, April 22nd. Wells Fargo & Company lifted their target price on Quest Diagnostics from $145.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, April 25th. Finally, Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on Quest Diagnostics from $159.00 to $145.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, February 14th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, the company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $150.92.

Shares of Quest Diagnostics stock opened at $138.65 on Friday. Quest Diagnostics has a twelve month low of $125.77 and a twelve month high of $174.16. The stock has a market capitalization of $16.27 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.23 and a beta of 1.05. The company has a current ratio of 1.46, a quick ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. The business’s fifty day moving average price is $137.85 and its 200 day moving average price is $143.69.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGXGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, April 21st. The medical research company reported $3.22 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.91 by $0.31. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 27.08% and a net margin of 17.61%. The firm had revenue of $2.61 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.64 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $3.76 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Quest Diagnostics will post 9.31 EPS for the current year.

In related news, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 6,228 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $135.21, for a total value of $842,087.88. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 282,408 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $140.12, for a total value of $39,571,008.96. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 334,833 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $46,916,799.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 339,240 shares of company stock valued at $47,496,139. 1.45% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of DGX. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $212,114,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 10.1% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 12,807,624 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,752,852,000 after purchasing an additional 1,171,242 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 33.7% during the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,634,641 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $360,577,000 after purchasing an additional 664,574 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 4.8% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,014,030 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,917,961,000 after purchasing an additional 636,301 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Invesco Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 66.2% during the fourth quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,452,951 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $251,374,000 after purchasing an additional 578,810 shares during the last quarter. 89.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Quest Diagnostics (Get Rating)

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing, information, and services in the United States and internationally. The company develops and delivers diagnostic information services, such as routine testing, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, anatomic pathology testing, and other diagnostic information services.

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Analyst Recommendations for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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