Wells Fargo & Company began coverage on shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) in a research note released on Thursday morning, Marketbeat.com reports. The firm issued a market perform rating and a $88.00 price objective on the medical research company’s stock.

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the company. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reaffirmed a market perform rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Monday, September 25th. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $118.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Wednesday, September 13th. ValuEngine raised Quest Diagnostics from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. BidaskClub raised Quest Diagnostics from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Thursday, June 29th. Finally, Barclays PLC reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $110.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Quest Diagnostics presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $109.09.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE DGX) traded down 0.50% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $91.06. The stock had a trading volume of 785,808 shares. Quest Diagnostics has a one year low of $79.12 and a one year high of $112.97. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $99.98 and a 200 day moving average price of $104.78. The firm has a market cap of $12.42 billion, a PE ratio of 18.35 and a beta of 0.65.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The medical research company reported $1.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.42 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.94 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 15.66% and a net margin of 9.28%. Quest Diagnostics’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.34 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.65 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 18th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 3rd will be paid a $0.45 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, October 2nd. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.98%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 36.29%.

In other Quest Diagnostics news, Director Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 1,304 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.73, for a total value of $141,783.92. Following the transaction, the director now owns 6,296 shares in the company, valued at $684,564.08. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 296 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.66, for a total value of $31,571.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 6,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $639,960. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 161,996 shares of company stock worth $17,517,207 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 1.75% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Schnieders Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 0.3% in the second quarter. Schnieders Capital Management LLC now owns 2,366 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $263,000 after purchasing an additional 6 shares in the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC grew its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 0.9% in the second quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,291 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $140,000 after purchasing an additional 12 shares in the last quarter. First American Trust FSB grew its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 0.3% in the second quarter. First American Trust FSB now owns 4,395 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $489,000 after purchasing an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. Hills Bank & Trust Co. grew its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 1.4% in the second quarter. Hills Bank & Trust Co. now owns 2,560 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $285,000 after purchasing an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 0.9% in the second quarter. Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,300 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $478,000 after purchasing an additional 40 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.10% of the company’s stock.

Quest Diagnostics Company Profile

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated is a provider of diagnostic information services. The Company operates through two businesses: Diagnostic Information Services and Diagnostic Solutions. The Diagnostic Information Services business develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, providing insights that empower and enable a range of customers, including patients, clinicians, hospitals, integrated delivery networks (IDNs), health plans, employers and accountable care organizations (ACOs).

Analyst Recommendations for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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