Quest Diagnostics (DGX) Receiving Favorable Media Coverage, Analysis Finds

News coverage about Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) has trended positive this week, according to AlphaOne. The research group, a division of Accern, identifies negative and positive media coverage by monitoring more than 20 million news and blog sources. AlphaOne ranks coverage of companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Quest Diagnostics earned a news sentiment score of 0.26 on AlphaOne’s scale. AlphaOne also assigned media stories about the medical research company an impact score of 88 out of 100, meaning that recent media coverage is very likely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the near future.

These are some of the news articles that may have impacted AlphaOne Sentiment Analysis’s scoring:

Several analysts have recently commented on the stock. Bank of America Corp raised shares of Quest Diagnostics from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $85.00 to $103.00 in a research report on Thursday, March 16th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $96.00 target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Thursday, March 16th. Zacks Investment Research raised Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $110.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, March 29th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc raised Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating and set a $113.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, March 14th. Finally, Barclays PLC boosted their target price on Quest Diagnostics from $92.00 to $98.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 7th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Quest Diagnostics currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $98.46.

Shares of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) traded up 6.03% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $104.03. 3,329,954 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $98.48 and its 200-day moving average price is $91.44. The company has a market capitalization of $14.30 billion, a PE ratio of 23.07 and a beta of 0.68. Quest Diagnostics has a 52-week low of $74.04 and a 52-week high of $104.17.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 20th. The medical research company reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.15. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 8.56% and a return on equity of 14.61%. The business earned $1.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.87 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.12 earnings per share. Quest Diagnostics’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Quest Diagnostics will post $5.46 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, April 19th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 5th were paid a $0.45 dividend. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, April 3rd. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is 40.00%.

In other news, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 80,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.58, for a total value of $7,246,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 119,321 shares in the company, valued at $10,808,096.18. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 440 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.39, for a total transaction of $42,851.60. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 41,734 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,064,474.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 101,589 shares of company stock valued at $9,391,833 over the last 90 days. 1.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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Quest Diagnostics Company Profile

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated is a provider of diagnostic information services. The Company operates through two businesses: Diagnostic Information Services and Diagnostic Solutions. The Diagnostic Information Services business develops and delivers diagnostic testing information and services, providing insights that empower and enable a range of customers, including patients, clinicians, hospitals, integrated delivery networks (IDNs), health plans, employers and accountable care organizations (ACOs).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:DGX

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