Laboratory Corp. of America (LH) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday, January 3rd.

According to Zacks, “The current economic uncertainty including challenging volume environment for testing laboratories and utilization weaknesses are looming headwinds for LabCorp. Also, the company's revenue growth was constrained by the impact from multiple hurricanes during the last reported quarter. On a positive note, LabCorp's Diagnostics business continues to remain strong on improving price, mix, acquisition and favorable foreign exchange. Also after several quarters of dull show, Covance Drug Development reported strong growth on the back of the acquisition of Chiltern, strong organic growth and favorable foreign currency translation. An increased 2017 guidance boosts investors’ confidence indicating chances of this bullish trend to be maintained in the fourth quarter too. Over the past six months LabCorp has been trading above the broader industry.”

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on LH. Barclays reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $195.00 target price on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. Mizuho set a $165.00 target price on Laboratory Corp. of America and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. ValuEngine raised Laboratory Corp. of America from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, November 30th. Jefferies Group set a $167.00 target price on Laboratory Corp. of America and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Friday, November 24th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $150.00 target price on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $171.69.

Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) traded down $0.19 on Wednesday, reaching $170.28. The company had a trading volume of 472,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 599,938. The company has a quick ratio of 1.75, a current ratio of 1.89 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18. The company has a market capitalization of $17,440.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.75, a PEG ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 0.87. Laboratory Corp. of America has a fifty-two week low of $128.00 and a fifty-two week high of $171.38.

Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The medical research company reported $2.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.38 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $2.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.55 billion. Laboratory Corp. of America had a return on equity of 12.07% and a net margin of 6.91%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $2.25 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Laboratory Corp. of America will post 9.53 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Dwight Gary Gilliland sold 971 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $153.52, for a total transaction of $149,067.92. Following the sale, the director now owns 3,501 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $537,473.52. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 0.90% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in the 3rd quarter valued at $444,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC lifted its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 233.1% in the 3rd quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 10,599 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,600,000 after acquiring an additional 7,417 shares during the last quarter. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. lifted its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 1,906.0% in the 3rd quarter. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. now owns 32,677 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $4,933,000 after acquiring an additional 31,048 shares during the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 39,891 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $6,150,000 after acquiring an additional 881 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Calamos Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 21.2% in the 3rd quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC now owns 171,866 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $25,947,000 after acquiring an additional 30,017 shares during the last quarter. 91.21% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Laboratory Corp. of America Company Profile

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings is a life sciences company that is integrated in guiding patient care, providing clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services. The Company operates as a healthcare diagnostics company. The Company operates through two segments: LabCorp Diagnostics (LCD) and Covance Drug Development (CDD).

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