Laboratory Corp. of America (LH) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Following a dismal third quarter show, shares of LabCorp have once again started to slid on account of the company's 2018 guidance cut, announced on November 30.  According to LabCorp, lower-than-expected volume growth within LabCorp Diagnostics, which is also expected to persist for the remainder of the year, compelled the company to lower its full-year guidance. In the past three months, LabCorp has underperformed its industry. On a positive note, increasing acquisitions and organic volume expansion positively contributed to LabCorp Diagnostics business in the last-reported quarter. This apart, Covance Drug Development has reported sturdy growth. This uptrend was primarily owing to strategic acquisitions and robust organic growth.”

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on LH. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on Laboratory Corp. of America from $202.00 to $180.00 in a research note on Sunday, December 9th. Robert W. Baird decreased their target price on Laboratory Corp. of America from $205.00 to $190.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 25th. Mizuho restated a neutral rating on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in a research note on Wednesday, September 19th. SunTrust Banks decreased their target price on Laboratory Corp. of America to $175.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Monday, December 3rd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity cut Laboratory Corp. of America from a buy rating to a hold rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $190.00 to $162.00 in a research note on Thursday, October 25th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $179.07.

Shares of Laboratory Corp. of America stock opened at $131.92 on Tuesday. Laboratory Corp. of America has a one year low of $119.38 and a one year high of $190.35. The stock has a market cap of $13.09 billion, a PE ratio of 13.74, a P/E/G ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 1.09. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 1.55 and a quick ratio of 1.44.

Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The medical research company reported $2.74 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.88 by ($0.14). The business had revenue of $2.83 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.84 billion. Laboratory Corp. of America had a return on equity of 17.13% and a net margin of 13.27%. Laboratory Corp. of America’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.46 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Laboratory Corp. of America will post 10.99 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Laboratory Corp. of America news, Director R Sanders Williams sold 350 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $162.14, for a total value of $56,749.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 7,886 shares in the company, valued at $1,278,636.04. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Kerrii B. Anderson sold 3,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $163.29, for a total value of $604,173.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 21,795 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,558,905.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.73% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Bank OZK raised its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 31.3% during the third quarter. Bank OZK now owns 2,624 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $456,000 after purchasing an additional 625 shares during the last quarter. Lee Financial Group Hawaii Inc. raised its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 3.5% during the third quarter. Lee Financial Group Hawaii Inc. now owns 16,653 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $2,892,000 after purchasing an additional 565 shares during the last quarter. Polaris Greystone Financial Group LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America during the third quarter worth approximately $3,967,000. Man Group plc raised its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 36.3% during the third quarter. Man Group plc now owns 169,216 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $29,390,000 after purchasing an additional 45,063 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Calamos Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 29.3% during the third quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC now owns 518,954 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $90,132,000 after purchasing an additional 117,715 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.90% of the company’s stock.

Laboratory Corp. of America Company Profile

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings operates as an independent clinical laboratory company worldwide. It operates through two segments, LabCorp Diagnostics and Covance Drug Development. It offers a range of clinical laboratory tests, such as blood chemistry analyses, urinalyses, blood cell counts, thyroid tests, Pap tests, hemoglobin A1C, prostate-specific antigen, tests for sexually-transmitted diseases, hepatitis C tests, vitamin D, microbiology cultures and procedures, and alcohol and other substance-abuse tests that are used by hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers and commercial clients to assist in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of diseases and medical conditions through the examination of substances in blood, tissues, and other specimens.

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