Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $130.00 target price on the medical research company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Quest Diagnostics reported better-than-expected second-quarter. However the year-over-year decline in adjusted earnings and revenues was concerning. Management noted that base testing volume declined because of the pandemic and was partially offset by increased COVID-19 testing. On a positive note, the company is strongly expanding its COVID-19 testing capacity. Cumulatively, Quest Diagnostics has delivered nearly 20% of all the testing included in this country. Meanwhile, revenue per requisition improved 15.2% primarily driven by reimbursement for COVID-19 molecular testing. A positive demography and strong balance sheet are added benefits. It has also re-established a sturdy 2020 outlook taking into account the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Quest Diagnostics has outperformed its industry over the past six months.”

Several other analysts have also weighed in on DGX. Credit Suisse Group raised their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $126.00 to $128.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, July 14th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $139.00 to $146.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, May 20th. UBS Group raised their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $106.00 to $111.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 5th. TheStreet raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a c+ rating to a b rating in a research report on Thursday, May 14th. Finally, Bank of America raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $142.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 14th. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. Quest Diagnostics presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $124.84.

NYSE DGX opened at $127.07 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $17.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.89, a PEG ratio of 0.95 and a beta of 1.38. The company has a 50 day moving average of $117.08 and a 200-day moving average of $107.37. The company has a current ratio of 1.29, a quick ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68. Quest Diagnostics has a 1-year low of $73.02 and a 1-year high of $131.81.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 23rd. The medical research company reported $1.42 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.83 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.81 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 9.99% and a return on equity of 13.78%. The company’s revenue was down 6.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.73 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics will post 8.42 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 22nd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, July 8th were issued a $0.56 dividend. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.76%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, July 7th. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.15%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of DGX. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the 4th quarter valued at about $148,158,000. Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo & Co. LLC bought a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the 1st quarter valued at about $110,260,000. Scharf Investments LLC bought a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the 1st quarter valued at about $57,171,000. Levin Easterly Partners LLC boosted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 2,950.2% in the 1st quarter. Levin Easterly Partners LLC now owns 423,579 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $34,013,000 after purchasing an additional 409,692 shares during the period. Finally, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 72.0% in the 2nd quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 967,288 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $109,711,000 after purchasing an additional 405,024 shares during the period. 88.88% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing, information, and services in the United States and internationally. The company develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, such as routine testing, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, anatomic pathology testing, and other diagnostic information services.

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