Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $172.00 price target on the medical research company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Recently, LabCorp's Diagnostics grew organically in terms of both revenue and volume despite additional price reductions due to PAMA and the loss of exclusivity in two managed care contracts. New acquisitions like MI Bioresearch and Envigo look promising. In the second quarter, LabCorp reported strong underlying performance and organic growth across its Drug Development business banking on solid execution of three fundamental strategies. LabCorp exited the second quarter with earnings ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues lagging the mark.On the flip side, the disposition of businesses and the implementation of the PAMA dented growth. Unfavorable currency transaction continues to remain as a major headwind. The company expects the rest of 2019 to continue to witness similar hurdles.”

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Barclays set a $200.00 target price on Laboratory Corp. of America and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, July 15th. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Laboratory Corp. of America from $190.00 to $201.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Friday, August 23rd. KeyCorp lifted their price target on Laboratory Corp. of America from $172.00 to $192.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Thursday, August 8th. Bank of America raised Laboratory Corp. of America from an underperform rating to a neutral rating and set a $174.60 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, July 16th. Finally, Deutsche Bank raised Laboratory Corp. of America from a hold rating to a buy rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $180.00 to $220.00 in a research note on Thursday, June 20th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $184.57.

NYSE:LH traded up $1.26 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $165.76. The stock had a trading volume of 431,693 shares, compared to its average volume of 558,992. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $168.68 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $165.53. The stock has a market capitalization of $16.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.04, a P/E/G ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 1.03. Laboratory Corp. of America has a one year low of $119.38 and a one year high of $178.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 1.05 and a current ratio of 1.14.

Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The medical research company reported $2.93 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.90 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $2.88 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.89 billion. Laboratory Corp. of America had a return on equity of 16.28% and a net margin of 8.19%. Laboratory Corp. of America’s quarterly revenue was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.98 EPS. Research analysts forecast that Laboratory Corp. of America will post 11.29 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Kerrii B. Anderson sold 2,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $171.85, for a total transaction of $446,810.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director R Sanders Williams sold 500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $162.91, for a total value of $81,455.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,886 shares in the company, valued at $1,121,798.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 11,468 shares of company stock worth $1,946,168 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new position in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America during the second quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Legacy Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America during the second quarter valued at approximately $33,000. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 1,636.4% during the second quarter. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. now owns 191 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $33,000 after buying an additional 180 shares during the period. Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America during the second quarter valued at approximately $33,000. Finally, Private Ocean LLC increased its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 54.3% during the second quarter. Private Ocean LLC now owns 213 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $36,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the period. 90.19% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Laboratory Corp. of America Company Profile

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings operates as an independent clinical laboratory company worldwide. It operates in two segments, LabCorp Diagnostics (LCD) and Covance Drug Development. It offers various clinical laboratory tests, such as blood chemistry analyses, urinalyses, blood cell counts, thyroid tests, Pap tests, hemoglobin A1C and vitamin D products, prostate-specific antigens, tests for sexually-transmitted diseases, hepatitis C tests, microbiology cultures and procedures, and alcohol and other substance-abuse tests.

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