Capital Investment Advisors LLC lowered its position in Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX – Get Rating) by 2.1% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 4,511 shares of the medical research company’s stock after selling 96 shares during the quarter. Capital Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $706,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 10.7% in the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 95,620 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $11,749,000 after buying an additional 9,225 shares in the last quarter. Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 2.7% in the third quarter. Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV now owns 57,264 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $7,026,000 after buying an additional 1,521 shares in the last quarter. Aviva PLC boosted its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 14.9% in the third quarter. Aviva PLC now owns 130,784 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $16,046,000 after buying an additional 17,002 shares in the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 4.2% during the third quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,202,164 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $147,494,000 after purchasing an additional 48,392 shares during the period. Finally, Horizon Investments LLC boosted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 18.7% during the third quarter. Horizon Investments LLC now owns 2,308 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $282,000 after purchasing an additional 363 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.79% of the company’s stock.
In other news, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 1,415 shares of the firm’s 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 transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 39,440 shares in the company, valued at $5,577,604.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.
Quest Diagnostics Price Performance
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX – Get Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 2nd. The medical research company reported $1.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.90 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $2.33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.26 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 18.84% and a net margin of 9.57%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 15.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $3.33 earnings per share. Research analysts predict that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated will post 8.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Quest Diagnostics declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 2nd that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the medical research company to repurchase up to 6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
Quest Diagnostics Increases Dividend
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 24th. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 10th will be issued a $0.71 dividend. This is an increase from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 6th. This represents a $2.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.16%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is 35.86%.
Wall Street Analyst Weigh In
A number of analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Wells Fargo & Company increased their price objective on Quest Diagnostics from $135.00 to $140.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, February 3rd. StockNews.com assumed coverage on Quest Diagnostics in a research note on Thursday. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Truist Financial dropped their price objective on Quest Diagnostics from $170.00 to $160.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Friday. Credit Suisse Group increased their price objective on Quest Diagnostics from $143.00 to $146.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 25th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Quest Diagnostics from $146.00 to $158.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, January 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Quest Diagnostics currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $150.91.
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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