Zacks: Analysts Anticipate Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) to Announce $2.91 EPS

Wall Street analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGXGet Rating) will report earnings of $2.91 per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Six analysts have issued estimates for Quest Diagnostics’ earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $3.20 and the lowest estimate coming in at $2.62. Quest Diagnostics posted earnings of $3.76 per share in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a negative year over year growth rate of 22.6%. The firm is scheduled to issue its next earnings report before the market opens on Monday, January 1st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will report full year earnings of $9.01 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $8.24 to $9.33. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the firm will post earnings of $8.23 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $7.10 to $8.75. Zacks’ EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of research firms that that provide coverage for Quest Diagnostics.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGXGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 3rd. The medical research company reported $3.33 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.35 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $2.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.66 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 28.50% and a net margin of 18.49%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 8.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $4.48 EPS.

DGX has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Citigroup downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $175.00 to $140.00 in a research note on Monday, April 4th. Jefferies Financial Group downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $135.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, February 2nd. Morgan Stanley cut their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $159.00 to $145.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, February 14th. Wells Fargo & Company cut their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $160.00 to $145.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 4th. Finally, Robert W. Baird cut their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $162.00 to $146.00 in a research report on Friday, February 4th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, Quest Diagnostics presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $148.58.

DGX stock traded up $2.21 during trading on Thursday, hitting $135.45. The company had a trading volume of 11,877 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,281,229. The firm has a market capitalization of $15.95 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.56 and a beta of 1.12. Quest Diagnostics has a 52-week low of $125.77 and a 52-week high of $174.16. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $136.58 and a 200-day simple moving average of $145.11. The company has a quick ratio of 1.44, a current ratio of 1.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 20th. Investors of record on Wednesday, April 6th will be paid a $0.66 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, April 5th. This is a boost from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.95%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 16.97%.

In other Quest Diagnostics news, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 6,228 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $135.21, for a total transaction of $842,087.88. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 2,750 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.26, for a total transaction of $347,215.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.45% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Access Financial Services Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $561,000. Rockland Trust Co. purchased a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $354,000. IFM Investors Pty Ltd increased its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 19.5% during the 1st quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 20,843 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $2,853,000 after purchasing an additional 3,405 shares in the last quarter. Ritholtz Wealth Management increased its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 33.7% during the 1st quarter. Ritholtz Wealth Management now owns 4,743 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $649,000 after purchasing an additional 1,195 shares in the last quarter. Finally, CNB Bank increased its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 3.0% during the 1st quarter. CNB Bank now owns 9,093 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,244,000 after purchasing an additional 262 shares in the last quarter. 86.45% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Quest Diagnostics (Get Rating)

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

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