Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX) shares saw strong trading volume on Friday . 1,625,499 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 48% from the previous session’s volume of 1,094,833 shares.The stock last traded at $83.07 and had previously closed at $82.36.

A number of equities research analysts recently commented on the company. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Tuesday, May 24th. Zacks Investment Research raised Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $92.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, July 11th. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Friday, June 3rd. Jefferies Group lifted their target price on Quest Diagnostics from $75.00 to $86.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Finally, Jyske Bank downgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, June 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Quest Diagnostics presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $80.50.

The company’s 50 day moving average price is $84.57 and its 200-day moving average price is $76.96. The firm has a market capitalization of $11.54 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.49.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.32 by $0.02. The business earned $1.91 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.91 billion. The company’s revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.25 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Quest Diagnostics Inc. will post $5.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 19th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 4th will be issued a $0.40 dividend. 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 1.93%.

In related news, Director Jenne K. Britell sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.76, for a total transaction of $339,040.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 6,345 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.62, for a total value of $543,258.90. Following the transaction, the director now owns 7,233 shares in the company, valued at approximately $619,289.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

An institutional investor recently raised its position in Quest Diagnostics stock. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its position in Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX) by 254.2% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 679,866 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 487,909 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. owned 0.48% of Quest Diagnostics worth $48,377,000 at the end of the most recent 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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