Quest Diagnostics (DGX) Increases Dividend to $0.50 Per Share

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) announced a quarterly dividend on Thursday, February 1st, RTT News reports. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 4th will be given a dividend of 0.50 per share by the medical research company on Wednesday, April 18th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.99%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 3rd. This is an increase from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45.

Quest Diagnostics has increased its dividend payment by an average of 11.7% annually over the last three years and has raised its dividend annually for the last 6 consecutive years. Quest Diagnostics has a payout ratio of 31.9% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect Quest Diagnostics to earn $6.87 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.80 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 26.2%.

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NYSE:DGX opened at $100.30 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 1.24 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76. The stock has a market cap of $13,604.48, a PE ratio of 17.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 0.70. Quest Diagnostics has a one year low of $90.10 and a one year high of $112.96.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The medical research company reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.37 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.93 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 10.00% and a return on equity of 15.41%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.31 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Quest Diagnostics will post 6.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Quest Diagnostics news, SVP Jon R. Cohen sold 83,669 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.20, for a total value of $8,718,309.80. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 115,426 shares in the company, valued at $12,027,389.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 106,840 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.00, for a total transaction of $11,431,880.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 272,956 shares in the company, valued at $29,206,292. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 292,027 shares of company stock worth $30,336,117. 1.75% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several research firms have recently commented on DGX. Canaccord Genuity boosted their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $113.00 to $115.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 19th. Morgan Stanley raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $103.00 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, March 14th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 7th. Argus raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $104.14 to $116.00 in a research report on Wednesday, March 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $107.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, February 13th. Fourteen analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $108.90.

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About Quest Diagnostics

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.

Dividend History for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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