Avantax Planning Partners Inc. Purchases New Position in Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX)

Avantax Planning Partners Inc. purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm purchased 2,348 shares of the medical research company’s stock, valued at approximately $310,000.

Other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Pflug Koory LLC purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the 2nd quarter worth about $31,000. Bbva USA purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the 2nd quarter worth about $35,000. Eagle Bay Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the 2nd quarter worth about $43,000. Quadrant Capital Group LLC raised its position in Quest Diagnostics by 43.0% in the 1st quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 379 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $49,000 after purchasing an additional 114 shares during the period. Finally, CSat Investment Advisory L.P. raised its position in Quest Diagnostics by 42.3% in the 1st quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. now owns 414 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $53,000 after purchasing an additional 123 shares during the period. 91.96% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of DGX stock opened at $154.81 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $18.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.23, a PEG ratio of 0.48 and a beta of 1.04. The company’s 50 day moving average is $145.96 and its 200 day moving average is $134.98. The company has a quick ratio of 1.26, a current ratio of 1.38 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated has a 52-week low of $108.28 and a 52-week high of $160.56.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 22nd. The medical research company reported $3.18 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.87 by $0.31. The company had revenue of $2.55 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.38 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 20.32% and a return on equity of 32.62%. Quest Diagnostics’s revenue was up 39.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.42 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated will post 12.05 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 20th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 5th will be paid a $0.62 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, October 4th. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.60%. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 22.18%.

In other news, CEO Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 32,788 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $140.01, for a total transaction of $4,590,647.88. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 290,240 shares in the company, valued at $40,636,502.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Stephen H. Rusckowski sold 9,493 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $140.87, for a total transaction of $1,337,278.91. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 424,178 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $59,753,954.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 54,503 shares of company stock valued at $7,630,451. 1.45% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. Citigroup raised their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $158.00 to $181.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 10th. Jefferies Financial Group assumed coverage on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Friday, July 23rd. They set a “buy” rating and a $160.00 target price on the stock. Credit Suisse Group raised their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $135.00 to $150.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, August 13th. KeyCorp raised their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $144.00 to $168.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 1st. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $136.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 31st. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $155.00.

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.

Further Reading: Initial Coin Offerings entail a high degree of risk

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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