Quest Diagnostics Inc (DGX) Expected to Post Earnings of $1.68 Per Share

Equities analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) will report earnings of $1.68 per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Eight analysts have issued estimates for Quest Diagnostics’ earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $1.65 and the highest is $1.74. Quest Diagnostics posted earnings per share of $1.39 during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year over year growth rate of 20.9%. The firm is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, October 18th.

On average, analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will report full-year earnings of $6.59 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.54 to $6.63. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the company will report earnings of $7.01 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.89 to $7.28. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that that provide coverage for Quest Diagnostics.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 24th. The medical research company reported $1.75 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.76 by ($0.01). Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 15.45% and a net margin of 10.56%. The company had revenue of $1.92 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.95 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.55 EPS. Quest Diagnostics’s quarterly revenue was up 3.0% on a year-over-year basis.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on DGX shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Friday, May 25th. Deutsche Bank downgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $108.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, June 27th. Evercore ISI raised Quest Diagnostics from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $103.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 10th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised Quest Diagnostics from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $120.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, May 29th. Thirteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $110.00.

In related news, SVP Everett Cunningham sold 40,328 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $112.00, for a total value of $4,516,736.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 78,589 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,801,968. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Chairman Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 168,490 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.00, for a total value of $18,028,430.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 359,559 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $38,472,813. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 340,064 shares of company stock valued at $36,688,570 in the last three months. 1.79% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 7.4% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,582,475 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,562,924,000 after buying an additional 1,071,083 shares during the last quarter. Fiduciary Management Inc. WI lifted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 76.5% during the 1st quarter. Fiduciary Management Inc. WI now owns 3,669,715 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $368,072,000 after buying an additional 1,590,069 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 24.8% during the 2nd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,962,056 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $325,648,000 after buying an additional 589,197 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 5.2% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,564,525 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $281,944,000 after buying an additional 127,232 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Allianz Asset Management GmbH lifted its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 8.3% during the 1st quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 2,326,398 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $233,338,000 after buying an additional 178,041 shares during the last quarter. 86.90% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Quest Diagnostics traded up $0.13, hitting $108.53, on Friday, according to MarketBeat.com. The company had a trading volume of 636,115 shares, compared to its average volume of 930,053. Quest Diagnostics has a 12-month low of $90.10 and a 12-month high of $116.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 1.12 and a quick ratio of 1.05. The company has a market capitalization of $14.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.10, a PEG ratio of 2.14 and a beta of 0.73.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 23rd. Investors of record on Monday, July 9th were issued a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.84%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, July 6th. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.04%.

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing information and services in the United States and internationally. The company's Diagnostic Information Services business segment develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, such as routine testing, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, gene-based and esoteric testing, anatomic pathology, and other diagnostic information services.

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