Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX) shares saw an uptick in trading volume on Thursday . 1,058,432 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 12% from the previous session’s volume of 948,755 shares.The stock last traded at $83.37 and had previously closed at $83.45.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on DGX. Zacks Investment Research raised Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $92.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, July 11th. Robert W. Baird restated a “hold” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Monday, May 2nd. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Sunday, May 22nd. Morgan Stanley restated a “sell” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Tuesday, June 7th. Finally, Jyske Bank lowered Quest Diagnostics from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, June 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Quest Diagnostics presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $80.28.

The firm has a market cap of $11.56 billion and a PE ratio of 14.51. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $84.49 and its 200-day moving average price is $76.13.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.32 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $1.91 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.91 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.25 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Quest Diagnostics Inc. will post $5.11 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 19th. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 4th will be paid a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 30th. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.92%.

In other Quest Diagnostics news, Director Jenne K. Britell sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.76, for a total value of $339,040.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 47,334 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.27, for a total transaction of $3,657,498.18. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 100,402 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,758,062.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in DGX. Utah Retirement Systems increased its position in Quest Diagnostics by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Utah Retirement Systems now owns 25,734 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,830,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in Quest Diagnostics by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 232,846 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,565,000 after buying an additional 740 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in Quest Diagnostics by 35.1% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 199,028 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,159,000 after buying an additional 51,673 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its position in Quest Diagnostics by 254.2% in the fourth quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 679,866 shares of the company’s stock valued at $48,377,000 after buying an additional 487,909 shares in the last quarter.

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.

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