Laboratory Corp. of America (LH) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “LabCorp has outperformed its industry over the three months. In the first quarter of 2019, LabCorp reported strong underlying performance and organic growth across both Diagnostics and Drug Development businesses banking on solid execution of three fundamental strategies. Diagnostics business grew organically in terms of both revenue and volume despite additional price reductions due to PAMA and the loss of exclusivity in two of the company’s largest managed care contracts. This apart, Covance Drug Development has also reported sturdy organic growth. The LaunchPad initiatives are also well on track. New acquisitions like MI Bioresearch and Envigo look promising. On the flip side, the disposition of certain businesses and the implementation of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) dented growth. Unfavorable currency transaction continues to remain as a major headwind. The company expects 2019 to continue to witness similar hurdles.”

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on LH. Citigroup increased their price objective on Laboratory Corp. of America from $157.00 to $176.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Jefferies Financial Group upgraded Laboratory Corp. of America from a hold rating to a buy rating and raised their price target for the stock from $154.00 to $190.00 in a research report on Tuesday, April 2nd. TheStreet upgraded Laboratory Corp. of America from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research report on Friday, May 3rd. Morgan Stanley set a $175.00 price target on Laboratory Corp. of America and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, February 22nd. Finally, ValuEngine cut Laboratory Corp. of America from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, April 18th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. Laboratory Corp. of America presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $178.87.

Laboratory Corp. of America stock traded up $0.74 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $166.10. 24,349 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 845,607. Laboratory Corp. of America has a fifty-two week low of $119.38 and a fifty-two week high of $190.35. The company has a market capitalization of $15.96 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.14, a P/E/G ratio of 1.68 and a beta of 1.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77, a current ratio of 1.14 and a quick ratio of 1.05.

Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The medical research company reported $2.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.53 by $0.09. Laboratory Corp. of America had a return on equity of 16.59% and a net margin of 8.59%. The business had revenue of $2.79 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.82 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $2.78 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Laboratory Corp. of America will post 11.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director R Sanders Williams sold 500 shares of Laboratory Corp. of America stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $162.20, for a total transaction of $81,100.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 7,386 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,198,009.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Robert E. Mittelstaedt, Jr. sold 3,700 shares of Laboratory Corp. of America stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $166.30, for a total value of $615,310.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 18,909 shares in the company, valued at $3,144,566.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 8,200 shares of company stock worth $1,352,410. Company insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Kore Private Wealth LLC acquired a new position in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in the first quarter worth approximately $191,000. Vista Investment Management lifted its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 9.3% in the first quarter. Vista Investment Management now owns 2,250 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $344,000 after acquiring an additional 192 shares during the period. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in the first quarter worth approximately $453,000. Hilltop Holdings Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 19.3% in the first quarter. Hilltop Holdings Inc. now owns 2,304 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $353,000 after acquiring an additional 372 shares during the period. Finally, Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Laboratory Corp. of America by 1.0% in the first quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 12,184 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,853,000 after acquiring an additional 125 shares during the period. 91.26% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Laboratory Corp. of America

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings operates as an independent clinical laboratory company worldwide. It operates in two segments, LabCorp Diagnostics (LCD) and Covance Drug Development. It offers various clinical laboratory tests, such as blood chemistry analyses, urinalyses, blood cell counts, thyroid tests, Pap tests, hemoglobin A1C and vitamin D products, prostate-specific antigens, tests for sexually-transmitted diseases, hepatitis C tests, microbiology cultures and procedures, and alcohol and other substance-abuse tests.

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