Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX) is one of 50 publicly-traded companies in the “Healthcare Facilities & Services” industry, but how does it compare to its peers? We will compare Quest Diagnostics to similar companies based on the strength of its valuation, institutional ownership, profitability, dividends, earnings, risk and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Quest Diagnostics pays an annual dividend of $1.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Quest Diagnostics pays out 37.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Healthcare Facilities & Services” companies pay a dividend yield of 1.0% and pay out 60.4% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Quest Diagnostics has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Quest Diagnostics is clearly a better dividend stock than its peers, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Quest Diagnostics and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Quest Diagnostics 1 11 6 0 2.28
Quest Diagnostics Competitors 190 1292 1828 32 2.51

Quest Diagnostics presently has a consensus price target of $105.14, suggesting a potential upside of 10.58%. As a group, “Healthcare Facilities & Services” companies have a potential downside of 5.44%. Given Quest Diagnostics’ higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Quest Diagnostics is more favorable than its peers.

Risk & Volatility

Quest Diagnostics has a beta of 0.65, indicating that its stock price is 35% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Quest Diagnostics’ peers have a beta of 1.01, indicating that their average stock price is 1% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Quest Diagnostics and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Quest Diagnostics 8.82% 15.53% 7.18%
Quest Diagnostics Competitors 6.83% 0.41% 0.52%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

87.0% of Quest Diagnostics shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.7% of shares of all “Healthcare Facilities & Services” companies are held by institutional investors. 1.8% of Quest Diagnostics shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 15.4% of shares of all “Healthcare Facilities & Services” companies are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Quest Diagnostics and its peers top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Quest Diagnostics $7.59 billion $1.44 billion 19.93
Quest Diagnostics Competitors $5.43 billion $855.44 million 37.30

Quest Diagnostics has higher revenue and earnings than its peers. Quest Diagnostics is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Summary

Quest Diagnostics beats its peers on 9 of the 15 factors compared.

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 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). Its Diagnostic Solutions group includes its risk assessment services business, which offers solutions for insurers, and its healthcare information technology businesses, which offers solutions for healthcare providers. The Company’s services are provided under the Quest Diagnostics brand, but it also provides services under other brands, including AmeriPath, Dermpath Diagnostics, Focus Diagnostics, Athena Diagnostics, ExamOne, Quanum and Care360.

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