MML Investors Services LLC increased its position in Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX – Get Rating) by 4.8% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 7,937 shares of the medical research company’s stock after acquiring an additional 366 shares during the quarter. MML Investors Services LLC’s holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $974,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 4.8% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,014,030 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,917,961,000 after acquiring an additional 636,301 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 7.0% during the 3rd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,223,518 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $395,494,000 after buying an additional 210,961 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 0.6% during the 1st quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,514,577 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $207,286,000 after buying an additional 8,406 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 4.7% during the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,240,043 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $164,901,000 after buying an additional 55,298 shares in the last quarter. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 42.2% during the 2nd quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,153,772 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $153,429,000 after buying an additional 342,198 shares in the last quarter. 88.79% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Quest Diagnostics Stock Up 0.8 %
Shares of DGX opened at $140.80 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $15.67 billion, a PE ratio of 17.78 and a beta of 0.95. The business has a fifty day moving average of $147.62 and a 200 day moving average of $140.88. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated has a 52-week low of $120.40 and a 52-week high of $158.34. The company has a quick ratio of 1.10, a current ratio of 1.22 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67.
Quest Diagnostics Increases Dividend
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 24th. Stockholders of record on Monday, April 10th will be given a dividend of $0.71 per share. This represents a $2.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.02%. This is an increase from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 6th. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.33%.
Quest Diagnostics announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 2nd that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the medical research company to repurchase up to 6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth
A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on the stock. Citigroup lowered shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $145.00 to $125.00 in a report on Thursday, November 17th. Credit Suisse Group raised their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $143.00 to $146.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 25th. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $146.00 to $158.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, January 6th. Robert W. Baird raised their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $143.00 to $154.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, January 12th. Finally, Mizuho raised their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 14th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, Quest Diagnostics has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $150.00.
Insider Transactions at Quest Diagnostics
In other news, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 1,415 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction on Friday, February 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $141.42, for a total transaction of $200,109.30. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 39,440 shares in the company, valued at $5,577,604.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.
Quest Diagnostics Profile
Quest Diagnostics, Inc engages in the provision of diagnostic testing, information and services. It operates through the Diagnostic Information Services (DIS) and All Other segments. The DIS segment offers diagnostic information services to patients, clinicians, hospitals, health plans, and employers.
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