Zacks: Analysts Anticipate Quest Diagnostics Inc (DGX) to Post $1.68 EPS

Equities analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) will announce earnings per share (EPS) of $1.68 for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Eight analysts have issued estimates for Quest Diagnostics’ earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $1.65 and the highest estimate coming in at $1.74. Quest Diagnostics reported earnings per share of $1.39 in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 20.9%. The business is expected to issue its next earnings report before the market opens on Tuesday, October 23rd.

On average, analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will report full year earnings of $6.59 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.55 to $6.62. For the next year, analysts forecast that the company will post earnings of $7.01 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $6.89 to $7.25. Zacks’ EPS averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that cover Quest Diagnostics.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 24th. The medical research company reported $1.75 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.76 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $1.92 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.95 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 10.56% and a return on equity of 15.45%. Quest Diagnostics’s revenue was up 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.55 earnings per share.

A number of research firms have commented on DGX. Bank of America began coverage on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Friday. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Argus set a $120.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 14th. Barclays upgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $120.00 to $130.00 in a research report on Monday, June 25th. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $121.00 to $128.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, September 24th. Finally, MED lowered shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 27th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Quest Diagnostics has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $111.73.

NYSE:DGX traded up $0.12 on Friday, reaching $102.50. The stock had a trading volume of 1,161,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 965,462. The firm has a market cap of $13.99 billion, a PE ratio of 18.98, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 0.73. Quest Diagnostics has a 1-year low of $90.31 and a 1-year high of $116.49. The company has a quick ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 1.12 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 22nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 5th will be given a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 4th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.95%. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is 37.04%.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. lifted its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 2.6% during the second quarter. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. now owns 17,923 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,970,000 after purchasing an additional 456 shares in the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank raised its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 2.7% during the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 17,467 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,920,000 after buying an additional 462 shares during the last quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp raised its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 64.4% during the second quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 1,202 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 471 shares during the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 1.3% during the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 37,587 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $4,132,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Acropolis Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 19.2% during the third quarter. Acropolis Investment Management LLC now owns 4,225 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $456,000 after buying an additional 680 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 86.16% of the company’s stock.

Quest Diagnostics Company Profile

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing information and services in the United States and internationally. The company's Diagnostic Information Services business segment develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, such as routine testing, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, gene-based and esoteric testing, anatomic pathology, and other diagnostic information services.

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