UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. Acquires 243,669 Shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX)

UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) by 34.1% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund owned 957,994 shares of the medical research company’s stock after purchasing an additional 243,669 shares during the period. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. owned approximately 0.72% of Quest Diagnostics worth $114,164,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. bought a new position in Quest Diagnostics in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $88,000. Freedman Financial Associates Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $42,000. First Mercantile Trust Co. purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the fourth quarter worth approximately $48,000. Hoover Financial Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in Quest Diagnostics in the 4th quarter worth approximately $50,000. Finally, Vantage Consulting Group Inc purchased a new stake in Quest Diagnostics during the 4th quarter valued at $51,000. 85.71% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several brokerages recently commented on DGX. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $137.00 price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a report on Thursday, March 18th. Citigroup increased their price objective on shares of Quest Diagnostics from $151.00 to $158.00 in a research note on Friday, January 29th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target 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. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $128.94.

In related news, SVP Michael E. Prevoznik sold 5,574 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction 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 the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 24th. The shares were 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,981,602.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

NYSE DGX opened at $127.74 on Thursday. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated has a 12 month low of $84.00 and a 12 month high of $134.71. 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 stock has a market cap of $17.05 billion, a PE ratio of 15.79, a P/E/G ratio of 0.44 and a beta of 1.07. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $122.52 and its 200 day moving average is $122.20.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 4th. The medical research company reported $4.48 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $4.28 by $0.20. The firm had revenue of $3 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.92 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 13.22% and a return on equity of 19.23%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 55.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.67 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics Incorporated will post 10.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 21st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 7th will be issued a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.94%. This is a boost from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, April 6th. Quest Diagnostics’s payout ratio is 34.15%.

Quest Diagnostics announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 4th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the medical research company to purchase up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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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