DGX Claws Its Way Back Toward Highs on Q2 Forecast

Credit Suisse hiked its price target on DGX to $126

Deputy Editor
Jul 13, 2020 at 10:21 AM
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Healthcare concern Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) is seeing some positive price action this morning. The stock is up nearly 5% at $121.60 right out of the gate, back within reach of its April 28 record high of $125, after this morning's preliminary second-quarter financial announcement. The firm reported revenue that topped analysts' expectations, citing a surge in demand for its coronavirus testing services and stronger-than-expected base testing volumes. The news sparked a price-target hike to $126 from $123 from Credit Suisse. 

While the shares of DGX have cooled since an early June run back towards their aforementioned peak at $125, most of these losses were deftly captured by the 200-day moving average. In fact, this trendline acted as a springboard for the equity, which is now boasting a three-month lead of 41.4%. 

Meanwhile, analyst sentiment is still split. Seven call DGX a "buy" or better, while the remaining seven say "hold." Plus, the consensus 12-month price target of $126.64 is just a 3.8% premium to current levels. 

Short sellers, on the other hand, have been hitting the exits in droves. Short interest dropped almost 30% in the last two reporting periods and now makes up just 2.5% of the stock's available float, or 1.7 days of trading at its average pace.

Drilling down to DGX's options pits, these traders have rarely been more bullish. During the past 10 weeks, 12.82 calls were picked up for every put at the Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio stands higher than every other reading from the past 12 months, suggesting a much heavier-than-usual appetite for long calls of late. 


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