Principal Financial Group Inc. Cuts Holdings in Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX)

Principal Financial Group Inc. reduced its position in Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGXGet Rating) by 17.4% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 152,189 shares of the medical research company’s stock after selling 32,103 shares during the quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc.’s holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $20,238,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of DGX. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 10.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 12,807,624 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,752,852,000 after purchasing an additional 1,171,242 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 33.7% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,634,641 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $360,577,000 after purchasing an additional 664,574 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 4.8% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,014,030 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,917,961,000 after purchasing an additional 636,301 shares during the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 12.4% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 3,628,272 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $496,566,000 after purchasing an additional 398,924 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 13.2% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,887,615 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $394,397,000 after purchasing an additional 335,762 shares during the last quarter. 88.87% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Analyst Ratings Changes

Several research firms have recently commented on DGX. Citigroup downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $145.00 to $125.00 in a research note on Thursday, November 17th. William Blair reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Thursday, October 20th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $142.00 to $146.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 21st. StockNews.com downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 8th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lifted their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $129.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, October 21st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat, Quest Diagnostics presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $148.50.

Quest Diagnostics Trading Up 0.1 %

NYSE DGX opened at $146.50 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $16.68 billion, a PE ratio of 14.41 and a beta of 1.02. The company has a fifty day moving average of $133.99 and a 200 day moving average of $134.57. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated has a 1 year low of $120.40 and a 1 year high of $174.16. 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 issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 20th. The medical research company reported $2.36 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.19 by $0.17. The business had revenue of $2.49 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.34 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 12.00% and a return on equity of 21.36%. The company’s revenue was down 10.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $3.96 earnings per share. Research analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated will post 9.85 earnings per share for the current year.

Quest Diagnostics Announces Dividend

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

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other Quest Diagnostics news, CAO Michael J. Deppe sold 15,497 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $145.00, for a total value of $2,247,065.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 32,013 shares in the company, valued at $4,641,885. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. In other news, CAO Michael J. Deppe sold 15,497 shares of the business’s 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 completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 32,013 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,641,885. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Timothy M. Ring sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $144.06, for a total transaction of $288,120.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 24,149 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,478,904.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 19,497 shares of company stock worth $2,781,965. Company insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.

About Quest Diagnostics

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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.

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

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