Zacks: Brokerages Expect Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) Will Announce Quarterly Sales of $1.92 Billion

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Equities analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) will post $1.92 billion in sales for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Seven analysts have made estimates for Quest Diagnostics’ earnings. The lowest sales estimate is $1.91 billion and the highest is $1.92 billion. Quest Diagnostics reported sales of $1.84 billion in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 4.3%. The company is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, February 13th.

On average, analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will report full-year sales of $7.72 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $7.71 billion to $7.72 billion. For the next year, analysts forecast that the firm will post sales of $7.89 billion, with estimates ranging from $7.82 billion to $7.96 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that follow Quest Diagnostics.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 22nd. The medical research company reported $1.76 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.71 by $0.05. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 9.58% and a return on equity of 15.32%. The firm had revenue of $1.96 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.94 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.68 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $113.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Wednesday, October 23rd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $111.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, September 30th. ValuEngine cut shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, November 29th. UBS Group decreased their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $103.00 to $102.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 21st. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $111.00 to $121.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 23rd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $106.85.

Quest Diagnostics stock traded down $0.12 during trading on Monday, reaching $105.20. 652,045 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 738,673. The company’s 50-day moving average is $103.90 and its two-hundred day moving average is $102.51. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a current ratio of 0.88. Quest Diagnostics has a 52-week low of $78.95 and a 52-week high of $108.30. The firm has a market cap of $14.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.67, a PEG ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.85.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 29th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 14th will be given a $0.53 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, January 13th. This represents a $2.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.02%. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is currently 33.60%.

In other news, Director Gail R. Wilensky sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.17, for a total value of $857,360.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 22,951 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,459,658.67. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 44,556 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.43, for a total transaction of $4,786,651.08. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 51,321 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,513,415.03. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 57,556 shares of company stock valued at $6,174,011. 1.86% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of DGX. Signaturefd LLC raised its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 15.9% during the third quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 714 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $76,000 after acquiring an additional 98 shares during the period. Acropolis Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 2.2% during the third quarter. Acropolis Investment Management LLC now owns 4,700 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $503,000 after acquiring an additional 100 shares during the period. Berman Capital Advisors LLC raised its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 47.7% during the second quarter. Berman Capital Advisors LLC now owns 319 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $32,000 after acquiring an additional 103 shares during the period. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI raised its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 2.9% during the third quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 3,661 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $392,000 after acquiring an additional 103 shares during the period. Finally, IFG Advisory LLC raised its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 2.5% during the second quarter. IFG Advisory LLC now owns 4,233 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $430,000 after acquiring an additional 105 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.04% of the company’s stock.

About Quest Diagnostics

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

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