$2.70 Billion in Sales Expected for Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) This Quarter

Brokerages predict that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) will announce $2.70 billion in sales for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Seven analysts have issued estimates for Quest Diagnostics’ earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $2.64 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $2.75 billion. Quest Diagnostics reported sales of $1.82 billion during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 48.4%. The firm is expected to report its next earnings report on Wednesday, April 28th.

On average, analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics will report full-year sales of $9.54 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $9.28 billion to $9.82 billion. For the next year, analysts expect that the business will report sales of $8.17 billion, with estimates ranging from $7.49 billion to $8.60 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are an average based on a survey of research analysts that cover Quest Diagnostics.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 4th. The medical research company reported $4.48 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $4.28 by $0.20. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 13.22% and a return on equity of 19.23%. The business had revenue of $3 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.92 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.67 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 55.9% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on DGX shares. Citigroup upped their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $151.00 to $158.00 in a report on Friday, January 29th. Morgan Stanley cut shares of Quest Diagnostics from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, December 17th. Finally, Mizuho increased their price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $144.00 to $149.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 26th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Quest Diagnostics presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $129.06.

Shares of NYSE:DGX traded up $1.28 on Tuesday, reaching $117.49. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,464,418 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,481,409. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $124.40 and its two-hundred day moving average is $120.48. Quest Diagnostics has a 52-week low of $73.02 and a 52-week high of $134.71. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 1.40 and a quick ratio of 1.32. The stock has a market capitalization of $15.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.36, a PEG ratio of 0.44 and a beta of 1.07.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 21st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 7th will be given a $0.62 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, April 6th. This is a positive change from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.11%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.15%.

Quest Diagnostics announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 4th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the medical research company to purchase up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, CFO Mark Guinan sold 81,756 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.37, for a total transaction of $9,840,969.72. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 155,335 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,697,673.95. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 1.49% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 1.0% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,464,215 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,366,191,000 after buying an additional 113,416 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA lifted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 42.3% during the third quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 2,718,843 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $311,281,000 after buying an additional 808,106 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 2.3% during the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,517,648 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $300,028,000 after buying an additional 55,410 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 11.6% during the fourth quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,877,995 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $223,799,000 after buying an additional 194,810 shares during the period. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB lifted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 19.8% during the fourth quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 1,730,977 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $206,281,000 after buying an additional 286,486 shares during the period. 85.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Quest Diagnostics Company Profile

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

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Earnings History and Estimates for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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