Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) Announces Dividend Increase – $0.75 Per Share

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGXGet Free Report) declared a quarterly dividend on Thursday, February 1st, RTT News reports. Investors of record on Monday, April 8th will be given a dividend of 0.75 per share by the medical research company on Monday, April 22nd. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.27%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, April 5th. This is a positive change from Quest Diagnostics’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.71.

Quest Diagnostics has raised its dividend payment by an average of 8.1% per year over the last three years and has raised its dividend every year for the last 13 years. Quest Diagnostics has a payout ratio of 31.9% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Analysts expect Quest Diagnostics to earn $9.41 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $3.00 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 31.9%.

Quest Diagnostics Trading Down 1.8 %

Shares of DGX opened at $132.33 on Wednesday. Quest Diagnostics has a 52-week low of $119.59 and a 52-week high of $148.62. The stock has a market cap of $14.70 billion, a PE ratio of 17.67, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.91 and a beta of 0.91. The firm’s fifty day moving average is $127.78 and its two-hundred day moving average is $130.34. The company has a quick ratio of 1.20, a current ratio of 1.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGXGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The medical research company reported $2.15 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.11 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $2.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.25 billion. Quest Diagnostics had a net margin of 9.23% and a return on equity of 15.79%. Quest Diagnostics’s quarterly revenue was down 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.98 earnings per share. Research analysts forecast that Quest Diagnostics will post 8.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

Several equities research analysts recently commented on DGX shares. Barclays began coverage on Quest Diagnostics in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $145.00 price target for the company. Jefferies Financial Group raised Quest Diagnostics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $140.00 to $155.00 in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. SVB Leerink assumed coverage on shares of Quest Diagnostics in a research report on Monday, February 26th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $135.00 price target on the stock. StockNews.com cut shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 1st. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of Quest Diagnostics from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, Quest Diagnostics presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $144.18.

Get Our Latest Analysis on Quest Diagnostics

Insider Buying and Selling at Quest Diagnostics

In other Quest Diagnostics news, Director Vicky B. Gregg sold 2,500 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.64, for a total transaction of $316,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 16,329 shares in the company, valued at $2,067,904.56. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. In other Quest Diagnostics news, Director Vicky B. Gregg sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $126.64, for a total transaction of $316,600.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 16,329 shares in the company, valued at $2,067,904.56. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Catherine T. Doherty sold 5,557 shares of Quest Diagnostics stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.57, for a total value of $703,349.49. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 69,599 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,809,145.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 15,150 shares of company stock valued at $1,913,202 over the last 90 days. 0.66% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional Trading of Quest Diagnostics

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Chilton Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the first quarter valued at approximately $28,000. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust grew its stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics by 136.2% in the first quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 411 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $56,000 after acquiring an additional 237 shares in the last quarter. Mark Sheptoff Financial Planning LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics during the fourth quarter worth $64,000. Compass Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Quest Diagnostics in the fourth quarter valued at $67,000. Finally, First Capital Advisors Group LLC. purchased a new position in Quest Diagnostics in the second quarter valued at $86,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.06% of the company’s stock.

Quest Diagnostics Company Profile

(Get Free Report)

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing and services in the United States and internationally. The company develops and delivers diagnostic information services, such as routine, non-routine and advanced clinical testing, anatomic pathology testing, and other diagnostic information services.

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Dividend History for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX)

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