Quest Diagnostics Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

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S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, October 17, 2012. Quest Diagnostics provides diagnostic testing, information, and services to patients, physicians, and others.

Quest Diagnostics Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for profit of $1.18 per share, no change from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.20. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $1.18 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 38.1% versus last year to $4.57.

Past Earnings Performance: The company missed estimates last quarter after beating forecasts in the prior two. In the second quarter, the company reported net income of $1.17 per share versus a mean estimate of profit of $1.18 per share. In the first quarter, the company beat estimates by 7 cents.

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A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose 8.9% to $177.7 million ($1.11 a share) from $163.1 million ($1.02 a share) the year earlier, but fell short analyst expectations. Revenue rose 0.2% to $1.91 billion from $1.9 billion.

Stock Price Performance: Between August 15, 2012 and October 11, 2012, the stock price had risen $4.97 (8.4%), from $59.27 to $64.24. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 11, 2012 and June 19, 2012, when shares rose for seven straight days, increasing 5.1% (+$2.84) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 18, 2012 and July 24, 2012 when shares fell for five straight days, dropping 9.2% (-$5.80) over that span.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 1.12 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, for every dollar the company owes in the short term, it has that figure available in assets that can be converted to cash in the short term.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 2.2% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, 3% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 6.3% in the first quarter before increasing again in the second quarter.

Analyst Ratings: There are mostly holds on the stock with 13 of 16 analysts surveyed giving that rating.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.91 billion in revenue this quarter, no change from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $7.64 billion for the year, a rise of 1.7% from last year’s revenue of $7.51 billion.

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(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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