Quest Diagnostics (DGX) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Quest Diagnostics exited first-quarter 2019 with better-than-expected earnings and revenues.Although Diagnostic information service revenues registered a very nominal rise, after several quarters of decline, this top-line growth can be treated as a notable rebound. The company is refocusing on its diagnostic information services wing and disciplined capital deployment. Its acquisitions and collaborations with hospitals continue to act as key drivers. We are upbeat about Quest Diagnostics’ Preferred Network partnership with UnitedHealthcare. On the flip side, the company is currently facing several reimbursement issues. Also, a rise in patient concession along with certain reserve adjustments caused a decline in revenue per requisition. Also, adjusted earnings declined on a year-over-year basis. This apart, escalating costs and a tough competitive landscape are concerns. In the past three months, the company has outperformed its industry.”

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Canaccord Genuity raised their price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $97.00 to $103.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Mizuho set a $106.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, February 15th. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $114.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Friday, February 15th. Jefferies Financial Group raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $93.00 to $107.00 in a research note on Tuesday, April 2nd. Finally, UBS Group set a $91.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 15th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $102.12.

Shares of DGX opened at $99.17 on Friday. Quest Diagnostics has a twelve month low of $78.95 and a twelve month high of $116.49. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.33 billion, a PE ratio of 15.72, a PEG ratio of 2.27 and a beta of 0.92. The company has a current ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The medical research company reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $1.89 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.87 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 9.59% and a return on equity of 14.99%. The firm’s revenue was up .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $152.00 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Quest Diagnostics will post 6.48 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Quest Diagnostics news, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 66,382 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.59, for a total transaction of $6,013,545.38. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 133,908 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,130,725.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP J. E. Davis sold 47,574 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, April 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $95.00, for a total transaction of $4,519,530.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 84,108 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,990,260. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 135,680 shares of company stock worth $12,454,759 in the last three months. Insiders own 1.86% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Penserra Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Quest Diagnostics during the 1st quarter valued at about $42,000. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 4th quarter valued at about $45,000. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 32.7% in the 4th quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 544 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $45,000 after buying an additional 134 shares in the last quarter. Signaturefd LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 74.7% in the 1st quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 505 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $45,000 after buying an additional 216 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Doyle Wealth Management bought a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the 4th quarter valued at about $48,000. 90.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Quest Diagnostics

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

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