Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX) stock jumped 0.88% on Friday to $122.84 against a previous-day closing price of $121.77. With 1.03 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained heavier than its average volume of 0.83 million shares. During the session, the Diagnostics & Research company that operates in wider Healthcare sector, reached to the highest price of $123.75 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $120.40. The 52-week range on DGX shows that it touched its highest point at $174.16 and its lowest point at $121.73 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $144.50. With its current market cap of 14.27 billion, DGX has annualized dividend of $2.64 while the current yield stands at 2.15%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 1.01.
Price Performance and Earnings:
Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of DGX was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -1.16%, but this was down by -5.54% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -10.61% while six-month performance fell -13.71%. The stock lost -19.56% in the past year, while it has lost -29.00% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for DGX yields 12.02 with Next year EPS estimates of 8.47. For the next quarter, that number is 2.19. This implies an EPS growth rate of 48.20% for this year and -12.59% for next year. EPS is expected to decline by -14.72% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 28.00%.
Float and Shares Shorts:
At present, 117.00 million DGX shares are outstanding with a float of 115.81 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 4.65 million, which was 3.99% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Stephen H. Rusckowski as the firm’s Chairman, Pres & CEO, Ms. Catherine T. Doherty serves as its Sr. VP of Regional Bus.es.
Through their ownership of 96.23% of DGX’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 54.93% of DGX, in contrast to 38.20% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 33.30%. As the largest shareholder in DGX with 11.66% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 13,591,798 shares worth 13,591,798. A second-largest stockholder of DGX, BlackRock Fund Advisors, holds 7,348,675 shares, controlling over 6.30% of the firm’s shares. SSgA Funds Management, Inc. is the third largest shareholder in DGX, holding 6,046,793 shares or 5.19% stake. With a 2.98% stake in DGX, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index is the largest stakeholder. A total of 3,473,188 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund, which owns about 2.31% of DGX stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 2,694,644 shares valued at 337.67 million. Vanguard 500 Index Fund holds 2.25% of the stake in DGX, owning 2,620,371 shares worth 328.36 million.
Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for DGX since 18 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 6 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 12 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 0 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With DGX analysts setting a high price target of $160.00 and a low target of $129.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $143.36. Based on these targets, DGX could surge 30.25% to reach the target high and rise by 5.01% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 16.7% from current levels.
EPS: Estimates vs Actual
It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. DGX will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/02/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $9.95 being high and $9.38 being low. For DGX, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $9.67. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated surprised analysts by $0.07 when it reported $2.36 EPS against a consensus estimate of $2.29. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.23. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $2.32 and the low estimate is $2.01. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $2.18.
Summary of Insider Activity:
Insiders traded DGX stock several times over the past three months with 5 Buys and 2 Sells. In these transactions, 4,070 shares were bought while 4,000 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 39 while that of sell transactions has risen to 50 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 697,878 while 588,918 shares were sold.