Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) was upgraded by stock analysts at UBS Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, Briefing.com reports. The brokerage presently has a $158.00 price target on the medical research company’s stock, up from their previous price target of $135.00. UBS Group’s price objective points to a potential upside of 19.06% from the stock’s current price.
DGX has been the topic of a number of other reports. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $130.00 to $136.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 18th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $137.00 price target on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Thursday, March 18th. Finally, Citigroup raised their price objective on Quest Diagnostics from $151.00 to $158.00 in a research report on Friday, January 29th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $139.00.
Shares of NYSE DGX opened at $132.71 on Tuesday. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $128.50 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $124.18. Quest Diagnostics has a 12 month low of $103.26 and a 12 month high of $134.75. The company has a current ratio of 1.40, a quick ratio of 1.32 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. The firm has a market capitalization of $17.34 billion, a PE ratio of 16.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.44 and a beta of 1.07.
Quest Diagnostics announced that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, February 4th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the medical research company to repurchase up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Quest Diagnostics news, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 5,574 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.47, for a total value of $671,499.78. Also, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 1,188 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $116.95, for a total transaction of $138,936.60. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 42,596 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,981,602.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.49% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DGX. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 1.0% during the 4th 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 in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,517,648 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $300,028,000 after purchasing an additional 55,410 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 4.3% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,927,478 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $229,685,000 after purchasing an additional 79,856 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 11.6% during the 4th quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,877,995 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $223,799,000 after purchasing 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 4th 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 in the last quarter. 85.71% of the stock is 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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