Laboratory Corp. of America (LH) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $174.00 target price on the medical research company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “In the first quarter of 2019, LabCorp reported strong underlying performance and organic growth across both Diagnostics and Drug Development businesses banking on solid execution of three fundamental strategies. Diagnostics business grew organically in terms of both revenue and volume despite additional price reductions due to PAMA and the loss of exclusivity in two of the company’s largest managed care contracts. This apart, Covance Drug Development has also reported sturdy organic growth. The LaunchPad initiatives are also well on track. New acquisitions like MI Bioresearch and Envigo look promising. LabCorp has outperformed its industry over the three months. On the flip side, the disposition of certain businesses and the implementation of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) dented growth. Unfavorable currency transaction continues to remain as a major headwind. The company expects 2019 to continue to witness similar hurdles.”

LH has been the subject of several other research reports. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Laboratory Corp. of America from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Morgan Stanley set a $175.00 price objective on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, February 22nd. TheStreet cut shares of Laboratory Corp. of America from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Friday, January 11th. UBS Group set a $178.00 price objective on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, February 8th. Finally, Barclays lifted their target price on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America from $165.00 to $173.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Monday, March 18th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. Laboratory Corp. of America currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $177.60.

Shares of NYSE LH traded up $2.83 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $163.99. The company had a trading volume of 35,216 shares, compared to its average volume of 865,031. The company has a quick ratio of 1.38, a current ratio of 1.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77. Laboratory Corp. of America has a twelve month low of $119.38 and a twelve month high of $190.35. The stock has a market capitalization of $15.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.94, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.15.

Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The medical research company reported $2.62 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.53 by $0.09. Laboratory Corp. of America had a net margin of 8.59% and a return on equity of 16.59%. The firm had revenue of $2.79 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.82 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $2.78 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Laboratory Corp. of America will post 11.22 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director R Sanders Williams sold 1,038 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $147.00, for a total value of $152,586.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 8,924 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,311,828. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Commonwealth Bank of Australia grew its holdings in Laboratory Corp. of America by 21.3% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 10,902 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,373,000 after purchasing an additional 1,911 shares during the period. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Laboratory Corp. of America in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $120,695,000. BRYN MAWR TRUST Co grew its holdings in Laboratory Corp. of America by 8.1% in the fourth quarter. BRYN MAWR TRUST Co now owns 35,695 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $4,510,000 after purchasing an additional 2,666 shares during the period. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in Laboratory Corp. of America by 8.7% in the fourth quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC now owns 5,934 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $750,000 after purchasing an additional 475 shares during the period. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB grew its holdings in Laboratory Corp. of America by 7.3% in the fourth quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,120,509 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $267,945,000 after purchasing an additional 143,426 shares during the period. 91.65% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Laboratory Corp. of America Company Profile

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings operates as an independent clinical laboratory company worldwide. It operates in two segments, LabCorp Diagnostics (LCD) and Covance Drug Development. It offers various clinical laboratory tests, such as blood chemistry analyses, urinalyses, blood cell counts, thyroid tests, Pap tests, hemoglobin A1C and vitamin D products, prostate-specific antigens, tests for sexually-transmitted diseases, hepatitis C tests, microbiology cultures and procedures, and alcohol and other substance-abuse tests.

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Analyst Recommendations for Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH)

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