Quest Diagnostics Stock is Worth a Flier Before Earnings

Quest Diagnostics will report earnings two weeks from Thursday

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Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) offers access to diagnostic testing services for cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, neurological disorders, and drugs. On July 12, the company announced its Tackle Your Testing program to address the health disparities worsened by delayed treatment or delayed diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The organizations will be providing diagnostic testing, education, and nutritious meals at multiple events across the country to address the pandemic's impact on underserved communities. 

Quest Diagnostics will report second-quarter earnings before the market opens on Thursday, July 22. DGX has notably outperformed earnings expectations on all four of its most earnings reports over the past year. However, only two of those reports yielded positive post-earnings moves; a 2.8% gain back in April, and a 2.9% pop in October. In the last eight quarters, the stock averages a rather muted post-earnings move of 3.1%, regardless of direction.

On the charts, DGX nearly 14% in 2021. The shares pulled back sharply from their May 10 record high of $142.80, but the $126 level -- which coincides with their 100-day moving average -- contained the damage. Quest Diagnostics stock also has a forward dividend of $2.48 and a dividend yield of 1.83%.

DGX Stock Chart

There's some modest short-covering potential to go with the equity, too. Short interest fell 10% in the two most reporting periods, yet the 9.31 million shares sold short accounts for a healthy 7.2% of DGX's total available float. At the stock's average pace of trading, it would take eight days for shorts to buy back their bearish bets.

Quest Diagnostics has increased its trailing 12-month revenues by 9.5% and has grown its trailing 12-month net income by about 26% year-over-year. In addition, revenues are up by 37% and net income is up by 145% since fiscal 2018. Fundamentally, Quest Diagnostics stock offers decent long-term potential as a value and dividend play. DGX currently trades at an extremely attractive price-earnings ratio of 10.29.

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