Retirement Systems of Alabama Grows Position in Quest Diagnostics Inc (DGX)

Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its stake in Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) by 85.6% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 376,554 shares of the medical research company’s stock after acquiring an additional 173,675 shares during the period. Retirement Systems of Alabama’s holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $37,087,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. APG Asset Management N.V. raised its stake in Quest Diagnostics by 156.0% in the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 2,683,901 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $251,320,000 after buying an additional 1,635,700 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 29.1% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,487,295 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $244,974,000 after purchasing an additional 560,538 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 73.1% in the fourth quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 2,107,796 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $207,596,000 after purchasing an additional 889,802 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 16.8% in the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 2,039,110 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $200,832,000 after purchasing an additional 293,611 shares during the period. Finally, Allianz Asset Management GmbH grew its holdings in Quest Diagnostics by 10.5% in the third quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 2,033,496 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $190,417,000 after purchasing an additional 193,829 shares during the period. 90.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Quest Diagnostics Inc (DGX) opened at $101.39 on Wednesday. Quest Diagnostics Inc has a fifty-two week low of $90.10 and a fifty-two week high of $112.96. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.76, a current ratio of 1.24 and a quick ratio of 1.15. The stock has a market cap of $13,503.18, a P/E ratio of 18.43, a P/E/G ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 0.67.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The medical research company reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.37 by $0.03. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 10.00% and a return on equity of 15.41%. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.93 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.31 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics Inc will post 6.59 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 18th. Investors of record on Wednesday, April 4th will be issued a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, April 3rd. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.97%. This is a boost from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. Quest Diagnostics’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 32.73%.

In related news, EVP J. E. Davis sold 63,880 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $98.68, for a total value of $6,303,678.40. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 101,423 shares in the company, valued at $10,008,421.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 21,294 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.00, for a total transaction of $2,214,576.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 90,709 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,433,736. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 192,014 shares of company stock worth $19,950,134 in the last 90 days. 1.75% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on DGX shares. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and issued a $110.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Friday, October 27th. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Monday, January 29th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $117.00 price objective on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co cut their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $88.00 to $86.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group started coverage on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $107.00 price objective on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Quest Diagnostics currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $107.40.

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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).

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

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