Quest Diagnostics (DGX) Cut to “Hold” at Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank cut shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday morning, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The brokerage currently has $108.00 price target on the medical research company’s stock.

A number of other analysts have also commented on the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Quest Diagnostics from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, April 2nd. Morgan Stanley upgraded Quest Diagnostics from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and set a $120.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, May 29th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Quest Diagnostics from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, March 7th. Argus upgraded Quest Diagnostics from a hold rating to a buy rating and upped their target price for the company from $104.14 to $116.00 in a report on Wednesday, March 7th. Finally, William Blair upgraded Quest Diagnostics from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Friday, June 8th. Fourteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $111.11.

DGX stock opened at $109.94 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.14, a current ratio of 1.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73. Quest Diagnostics has a one year low of $90.10 and a one year high of $116.49. The stock has a market cap of $14.97 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.36, a PEG ratio of 2.17 and a beta of 0.70.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 19th. The medical research company reported $1.52 EPS for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.52. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 10.19% and a return on equity of 15.44%. The company had revenue of $1.88 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.89 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.33 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that Quest Diagnostics will post 6.61 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 23rd. Investors of record on Monday, July 9th will be issued a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, July 6th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.82%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.04%.

In related news, Chairman Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 168,490 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.00, for a total value of $18,028,430.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 359,559 shares in the company, valued at $38,472,813. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Mark Guinan sold 61,533 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.71, for a total value of $6,504,653.43. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 119,733 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,656,975.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 231,667 shares of company stock worth $24,706,706 in the last 90 days. 1.79% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DGX. Summit Trail Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 11,477.8% in the first quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 1,769,084 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,769,000 after buying an additional 1,753,804 shares during the last quarter. Fiduciary Management Inc. WI increased its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 76.5% in the first quarter. Fiduciary Management Inc. WI now owns 3,669,715 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $368,072,000 after buying an additional 1,590,069 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 7.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,582,475 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,562,924,000 after buying an additional 1,071,083 shares during the last quarter. Element Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Quest Diagnostics in the fourth quarter worth approximately $44,275,000. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. increased its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 16.4% in the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,372,859 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $237,998,000 after buying an additional 333,749 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.39% of the company’s stock.

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing information and services in the United States and internationally. The company's Diagnostic Information Services business segment develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, such as routine testing, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, gene-based and esoteric testing, anatomic pathology, and other diagnostic information services.

Analyst Recommendations for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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