Eqis Capital Management Inc. Cuts Stock Holdings in Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX)

Eqis Capital Management Inc. reduced its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) by 13.1% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 4,747 shares of the medical research company’s stock after selling 718 shares during the period. Eqis Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Quest Diagnostics were worth $543,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of DGX. Morgan Stanley grew its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 11.2% in the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 921,518 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $73,999,000 after purchasing an additional 92,735 shares in the last quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 1.0% in the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 38,888 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $4,432,000 after purchasing an additional 397 shares in the last quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. grew its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 83.9% in the second quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 19,254 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $2,194,000 after purchasing an additional 8,787 shares in the last quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 6.3% in the second quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 3,611 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $412,000 after purchasing an additional 214 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Strs Ohio grew its position in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 91.5% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 44,606 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $5,083,000 after purchasing an additional 21,308 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 78.87% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Jefferies Financial Group upped their price target on Quest Diagnostics from $125.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 14th. Argus upgraded Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 21st. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Friday, October 23rd. ValuEngine cut Quest Diagnostics from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 11th. Finally, Mizuho upped their price objective on Quest Diagnostics from $144.00 to $149.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $126.83.

In other news, CAO Michael J. Deppe sold 10,450 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $125.00, for a total value of $1,306,250.00. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 29,785 shares in the company, valued at $3,723,125. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 58,392 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.60, for a total value of $6,458,155.20. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 126,803 shares in the company, valued at $14,024,411.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 396,430 shares of company stock worth $47,039,374. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:DGX opened at $124.81 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.32, a current ratio of 1.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $121.35 and its two-hundred day moving average is $117.12. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated has a 52 week low of $73.02 and a 52 week high of $131.81. The stock has a market capitalization of $16.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.43, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 1.18.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 22nd. The medical research company reported $4.31 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.75 by $0.56. The company had revenue of $2.79 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.71 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a return on equity of 19.23% and a net margin of 13.22%. The firm’s revenue was up 42.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.76 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated will post 9.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 3rd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 20th will be paid a $0.56 dividend. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.79%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 19th. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is currently 34.15%.

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

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