Shares of Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX) saw strong trading volume on Thursday . 1,058,432 shares were traded during 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 equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Friday, June 3rd. Evercore ISI reissued a “hold” rating and set a $89.50 price objective (up previously from $78.50) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Sunday, July 24th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Monday, May 2nd. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Tuesday, May 24th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of 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. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Quest Diagnostics has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $80.28.

The stock’s 50 day moving average is $84.54 and its 200 day moving average is $76.29. The firm has a market cap of $11.54 billion and a PE ratio of 14.48.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 19th. Investors of record on Tuesday, October 4th will be issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 30th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.93%.

In related news, Director Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 6,345 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.62, for a total transaction of $543,258.90. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 7,233 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $619,289.46. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director John B. Ziegler sold 1,000 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction on Monday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.36, for a total transaction of $84,360.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DGX. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted 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 worth $48,377,000 after buying an additional 487,909 shares during the last quarter. Utah Retirement Systems boosted 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 worth $1,830,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted 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 worth $16,565,000 after buying an additional 740 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can boosted 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 worth $14,159,000 after buying an additional 51,673 shares during 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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