Short Interest in Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE:LH) Grows By 13.9%

Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE:LH) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,970,000 shares, an increase of 13.9% from the September 30th total of 1,730,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 533,400 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.7 days. Currently, 2.0% of the shares of the company are sold short.

In other Laboratory Corp. of America news, insider Lisa J. Uthgenannt sold 2,466 shares of Laboratory Corp. of America stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $168.59, for a total transaction of $415,742.94. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO David P. King sold 30,177 shares of Laboratory Corp. of America stock in a transaction on Monday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $165.40, for a total value of $4,991,275.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 41,145 shares of company stock valued at $6,855,988. 0.74% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in LH. Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its position in Laboratory Corp. of America by 10,436.0% in the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 1,022,410 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $176,775,000 after purchasing an additional 1,012,706 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. increased its position in Laboratory Corp. of America by 93.4% in the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,184,747 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $204,844,000 after purchasing an additional 572,088 shares during the period. Balyasny Asset Management LLC grew its position in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 496.8% during the 2nd quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC now owns 557,585 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $96,406,000 after buying an additional 464,161 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management acquired a new position in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America during the 2nd quarter worth about $39,089,000. Finally, Wedge Capital Management L L P NC acquired a new position in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America during the 2nd quarter worth about $34,132,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.02% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on the company. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on Laboratory Corp. of America from $190.00 to $201.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, August 23rd. Zacks Investment Research raised Laboratory Corp. of America from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $172.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 9th. UBS Group cut their price target on Laboratory Corp. of America from $204.00 to $200.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 21st. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $170.00 price target on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in a report on Thursday, October 24th. Finally, KeyCorp lifted their price target on Laboratory Corp. of America from $172.00 to $192.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, August 8th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. Laboratory Corp. of America currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $184.90.

LH stock traded up $2.15 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $171.55. The stock had a trading volume of 747,002 shares, compared to its average volume of 560,593. The business has a fifty day simple moving average of $166.67 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $167.79. The company has a quick ratio of 1.08, a current ratio of 1.17 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93. The firm has a market cap of $16.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.57, a PEG ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 1.01. Laboratory Corp. of America has a twelve month low of $119.38 and a twelve month high of $178.44.

Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 24th. The medical research company reported $2.90 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.85 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $2.93 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.91 billion. Laboratory Corp. of America had a return on equity of 15.33% and a net margin of 6.63%. The company’s revenue was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $2.74 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Laboratory Corp. of America will post 11.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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.

Further Reading: 52-week highs

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