Lazard Asset Management LLC Sells 256 Shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX)

Lazard Asset Management LLC lessened its stake in Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGXGet Rating) by 12.1% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 1,868 shares of the medical research company’s stock after selling 256 shares during the quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $248,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of DGX. Calamos Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 15.4% in the 1st quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC now owns 84,872 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $11,616,000 after purchasing an additional 11,312 shares during the period. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH raised its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 20.4% in the 1st quarter. Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. OH now owns 8,513 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,165,000 after purchasing an additional 1,440 shares during the period. FDx Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 26.9% in the 1st quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 7,797 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,067,000 after purchasing an additional 1,655 shares during the period. Metis Global Partners LLC bought a new stake in Quest Diagnostics during the 1st quarter valued at $266,000. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System raised its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 34,147 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $4,673,000 after acquiring an additional 881 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 88.87% of the company’s stock.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

A number of brokerages have issued reports on DGX. William Blair reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Thursday, October 20th. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $142.00 to $146.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, October 21st. Citigroup cut shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and lowered their target price for the company from $145.00 to $125.00 in a report on Thursday. StockNews.com cut shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 8th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft boosted their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $129.00 to $140.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $148.50.

Insider Activity

In related news, Director Timothy M. Ring sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $123.39, for a total transaction of $246,780.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 23,933 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,953,092.87. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. In related news, Director Timothy M. Ring sold 2,000 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $123.39, for a total transaction of $246,780.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 23,933 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,953,092.87. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CAO Michael J. Deppe sold 15,497 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $145.00, for a total transaction of $2,247,065.00. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 32,013 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,641,885. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 19,497 shares of company stock worth $2,781,965 in the last three months. Company insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.

Quest Diagnostics Price Performance

DGX stock opened at $146.42 on Friday. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated has a 1 year low of $120.40 and a 1 year high of $174.16. The company has a market cap of $16.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.40 and a beta of 1.02. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $133.69 and a 200 day moving average of $134.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 1.46 and a quick ratio of 1.34.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGXGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The medical research company reported $2.36 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.19 by $0.17. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 12.00% and a return on equity of 21.36%. The firm had revenue of $2.49 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.34 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $3.96 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 10.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated will post 9.85 EPS for the current year.

Quest Diagnostics Dividend Announcement

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 18th will be given a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, January 17th. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.80%. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is 25.96%.

Quest Diagnostics Company Profile

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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.

See Also

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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