Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) – Research analysts at William Blair boosted their Q1 2018 earnings estimates for Quest Diagnostics in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. William Blair analyst A. Murphy now anticipates that the medical research company will earn $1.41 per share for the quarter, up from their previous estimate of $1.25. William Blair also issued estimates for Quest Diagnostics’ Q2 2018 earnings at $1.80 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $1.73 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $1.68 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $6.61 EPS, Q1 2019 earnings at $1.55 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $6.82 EPS.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The medical research company reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.37 by $0.03. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 10.00% and a return on equity of 15.41%. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.93 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.31 EPS. Quest Diagnostics’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis.

Several other research analysts also recently issued reports on DGX. Wells Fargo & Co initiated coverage on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $88.00 price objective on the stock. SunTrust Banks set a $105.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, October 15th. Craig Hallum reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $100.00 target price (down previously from $110.00) on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Mizuho set a $103.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, Citigroup lowered their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $110.00 to $98.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $107.40.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) opened at $100.47 on Thursday. Quest Diagnostics has a 52-week low of $90.10 and a 52-week high of $112.96. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 1.15 and a current ratio of 1.24. The stock has a market cap of $13,710.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.27, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 0.67.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DGX. APG Asset Management N.V. boosted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 156.0% during the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 2,683,901 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $251,320,000 after buying an additional 1,635,700 shares in the last quarter. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. raised its position in Quest Diagnostics by 741,981.0% during the fourth quarter. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. now owns 1,246,696 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $122,787,000 after acquiring an additional 1,246,528 shares during the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its position in Quest Diagnostics by 73.1% during the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 2,107,796 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $207,596,000 after acquiring an additional 889,802 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Quest Diagnostics by 29.1% during the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,487,295 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $244,974,000 after acquiring an additional 560,538 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in Quest Diagnostics by 24.1% during the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,801,477 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $168,690,000 after acquiring an additional 349,703 shares during the last quarter. 89.17% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 21,294 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.00, for a total transaction of $2,214,576.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 90,709 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,433,736. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 106,840 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.00, for a total transaction of $11,431,880.00. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 272,956 shares in the company, valued at approximately $29,206,292. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 192,014 shares of company stock worth $19,950,134. 1.75% of the stock is owned by insiders.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 18th. Investors of record on Wednesday, April 4th will be issued a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 3rd. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.99%. This is an increase from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is currently 32.73%.

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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).

Earnings History and Estimates for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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