Short Interest in Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) Drops By 5.8%

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGXGet Rating) saw a large decrease in short interest in the month of December. As of December 30th, there was short interest totalling 3,770,000 shares, a decrease of 5.8% from the December 15th total of 4,000,000 shares. Currently, 3.3% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 1,110,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.4 days.

Insider Activity at Quest Diagnostics

In related news, CAO Michael J. Deppe sold 15,497 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 26th. The stock was 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 directly owns 32,013 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,641,885. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. In other Quest Diagnostics news, Director Timothy M. Ring sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $144.06, for a total transaction of $288,120.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 24,149 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,478,904.94. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CAO Michael J. Deppe sold 15,497 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly 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 sold 60,287 shares of company stock worth $8,925,320 in the last ninety days. 1.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional Trading of Quest Diagnostics

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Wagner Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics during the 2nd quarter valued at $27,000. Global Retirement Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 154.7% in the 3rd quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC now owns 219 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $31,000 after buying an additional 133 shares during the last quarter. Accurate Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 4th quarter worth $36,000. Hallmark Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 3rd quarter worth $31,000. Finally, Chilton Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 2nd quarter worth $36,000. 88.79% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of research firms have commented on DGX. StockNews.com raised Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 10th. Citigroup lowered Quest Diagnostics from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $145.00 to $125.00 in a research report on Thursday, November 17th. Robert W. Baird increased their target price on Quest Diagnostics from $143.00 to $154.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 12th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft increased their target price on Quest Diagnostics from $129.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 21st. Finally, Mizuho increased their target price on Quest Diagnostics from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $148.89.

Quest Diagnostics Stock Up 0.1 %

DGX stock opened at $145.43 on Monday. Quest Diagnostics has a twelve month low of $120.40 and a twelve month high of $158.34. The company has a quick ratio of 1.34, a current ratio of 1.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63. The firm has a market cap of $16.56 billion, a PE ratio of 14.30 and a beta of 0.98. The business has a 50 day moving average of $150.83 and a 200 day moving average of $139.21.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGXGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 20th. The medical research company reported $2.36 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.17 by $0.19. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 21.36% and a net margin of 12.00%. The company had revenue of $2.49 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.34 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $3.96 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 10.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics will post 9.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Quest Diagnostics Announces Dividend

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 17th. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.82%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is 25.96%.

Quest Diagnostics Company Profile

(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.

Further Reading

Receive News & Ratings for Quest Diagnostics Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Quest Diagnostics and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.