Coho Partners Ltd. decreased its holdings in Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX – Get Rating) by 6.6% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 158,143 shares of the medical research company’s stock after selling 11,138 shares during the period. Coho Partners Ltd. owned about 0.14% of Quest Diagnostics worth $24,740,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 10.7% during the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 95,620 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $11,749,000 after purchasing an additional 9,225 shares during the last quarter. Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV boosted its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 2.7% in the 3rd quarter. Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV now owns 57,264 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $7,026,000 after buying an additional 1,521 shares in the last quarter. Aviva PLC grew its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 14.9% in the 3rd quarter. Aviva PLC now owns 130,784 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $16,046,000 after buying an additional 17,002 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 4.2% during the 3rd quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,202,164 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $147,494,000 after acquiring an additional 48,392 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Horizon Investments LLC lifted its position in Quest Diagnostics by 18.7% during the third quarter. Horizon Investments LLC now owns 2,308 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $282,000 after acquiring an additional 363 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.79% of the company’s stock.
Quest Diagnostics Trading Down 1.8 %
NYSE DGX opened at $131.53 on Friday. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated has a 1 year low of $120.40 and a 1 year high of $158.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67, a current ratio of 1.22 and a quick ratio of 1.10. The company has a market capitalization of $14.64 billion, a PE ratio of 16.61 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a fifty day moving average of $143.40 and a 200 day moving average of $141.15.
Quest Diagnostics Increases Dividend
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 24th. Stockholders of record on Monday, April 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.71 per share. This represents a $2.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.16%. This is a positive change from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 6th. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is 33.33%.
Quest Diagnostics announced that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, February 2nd that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the medical research company to repurchase up to 6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
Wall Street Analyst Weigh In
Several equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. Robert W. Baird upped their price target on Quest Diagnostics from $143.00 to $154.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 12th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Quest Diagnostics from $146.00 to $158.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, January 6th. Wells Fargo & Company boosted their price target on Quest Diagnostics from $135.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, February 3rd. Evercore ISI started coverage on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Monday, January 23rd. They issued an “inline” rating and a $159.00 price objective for the company. Finally, StockNews.com assumed coverage on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Thursday. They set a “hold” rating on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $150.91.
Insider Activity at Quest Diagnostics
In other Quest Diagnostics news, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 1,415 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction on Friday, February 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $141.42, for a total value of $200,109.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 39,440 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,577,604.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Company insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.
Quest Diagnostics Profile
Quest Diagnostics, Inc engages in the provision of diagnostic testing, information and services. It operates through the Diagnostic Information Services (DIS) and All Other segments. The DIS segment offers diagnostic information services to patients, clinicians, hospitals, health plans, and employers.
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