Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) sees sharp drop in short-term interest
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX – Get Rating) was the target of a sharp drop in short-term interest in September. As of September 30, there was short interest totaling 5,220,000 shares, down 5.6% from the September 15 total of 5,530,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume of 853,300 shares, the short-term interest rate ratio is currently 6.1 days. Currently, 4.5% of the company’s shares are sold short.
Analysts set new price targets
A number of research companies have recently commented on DGX. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and issued a price target of $142.00 on Quest Diagnostics shares in a Monday, August 22 report. StockNews.com began covering Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Wednesday, October 12. They set a “buy” rating for the company. Six research analysts rated the stock with a hold rating and three gave the company a buy rating. According to data from MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $148.50.
Quest Diagnostics trading up 1.3%
DGX traded $1.70 on Tuesday, hitting $129.63. The company had a trading volume of 32,667 shares, compared to an average volume of 903,014. The company has a market capitalization of $15.12 billion, a PE ratio of 10.64 and a beta of 0.96. The company has a quick ratio of 1.42, a current ratio of 1.54 and a debt ratio of 0.62. The company’s fifty-day simple moving average is $128.34 and its 200-day simple moving average is $133.34. Quest Diagnostics has a 12 month minimum of $120.40 and a 12 month maximum of $174.16.
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX – Get Rating) last released its quarterly results on Thursday, July 21. The medical research company reported EPS of $2.36 for the quarter, beating analyst consensus estimates of $2.26 by $0.10. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 14.02% and a return on equity of 24.62%. The company posted revenue of $2.45 billion in the quarter, compared to $2.34 billion expected by analysts. During the same period of the previous year, the company achieved EPS of $3.18. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.8% from the same quarter last year. Equity research analysts expect Quest Diagnostics to post EPS of 9.67 for the current year.
Quest Diagnostics Dividend Announcement
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 19. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 4 will receive a dividend of $0.66 per share. This represents an annualized dividend of $2.64 and a dividend yield of 2.04%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, October 3. Quest Diagnostics’ dividend payout ratio is currently 21.96%.
Insider Activity at Quest Diagnostics
In other Quest Diagnostics news, Director Timothy M. Ring sold 2,000 shares of Quest Diagnostics in a trade dated Monday, August 1. The stock was sold at an average price of $136.04, for a total transaction of $272,080.00. Following completion of the transaction, the administrator now owns 23,933 shares of the company, valued at approximately $3,255,845.32. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available on the SEC’s website. 1.70% of the shares are currently held by insiders.
Hedge funds weigh on Quest Diagnostics
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of DGX. Mystic Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in Quest Diagnostics stock during the fourth quarter worth $25,000. Wagner Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the second quarter worth $27,000. Sandy Cove Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the first quarter valued at $28,000. Chilton Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the second quarter for $36,000. Finally, Win Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 44.1% in the second quarter. Win Advisors Inc. now owns 271 shares of the medical research company valued at $37,000 after buying 83 additional shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors hold 88.87% of the company’s shares.
About Quest Diagnostics
(Get a rating)
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing, information, and service in the United States and around the world. The Company develops and provides diagnostic information services, such as routine testing, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, pathology testing and other diagnostic information services.
This instant news alert was powered by MarketBeat’s narrative science technology and financial data to provide readers with the fastest and most accurate reports. This story was reviewed by MarketBeat’s editorial team prior to publication. Please send questions or comments about this story to [email protected]
Before you consider Quest Diagnostics, you’ll want to hear this.
MarketBeat tracks daily the highest rated and most successful research analysts on Wall Street and the stocks they recommend to their clients. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the market takes off…and Quest Diagnostics wasn’t on the list.
Although Quest Diagnostics currently has a “Hold” rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys.
See the five actions here