Shares of Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX) have been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the sixteen brokerages that are covering the firm. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, ten have given a hold recommendation and two have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price objective among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $84.25.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on DGX shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, September 21st. Canaccord Genuity set a $90.00 target price on Quest Diagnostics and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Barclays PLC set a $85.00 target price on Quest Diagnostics and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, November 14th. Mizuho reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $88.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Citigroup Inc. started coverage on Quest Diagnostics in a report on Friday, September 9th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $86.00 target price on the stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. purchased a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the third quarter valued at $110,000. Financial Architects Inc raised its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 6.4% in the second quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 1,476 shares of the company’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 89 shares during the period. TLP Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the third quarter valued at $130,000. Pinkerton Retirement Specialists LLC raised its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 792.4% in the second quarter. Pinkerton Retirement Specialists LLC now owns 1,651 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,000 after buying an additional 1,466 shares during the period. Finally, Integrated Investment Consultants LLC raised its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 10.4% in the second quarter. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC now owns 1,869 shares of the company’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 176 shares during the period. 86.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) opened at 87.46 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $12.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.56 and a beta of 0.62. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $83.62 and a 200 day moving average price of $82.40. Quest Diagnostics has a 12-month low of $59.66 and a 12-month high of $89.16.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The company reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.35 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $1.89 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.53 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 14.57% and a net margin of 9.01%. The company’s revenue was up .3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.28 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.10 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 25th. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 10th will be given a $0.45 dividend. This is a positive change from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.06%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 34.04%.

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated is a provider of diagnostic information services. The Company operates through two businesses: Diagnostic Information Services and Diagnostic Solutions. The Company’s Diagnostic Information Services business develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services to patients, physicians, health plans, hospitals, accountable care organizations (ACOs), integrated delivery networks (IDNs), other commercial laboratories, employers and others.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:DGX

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