Quest Diagnostics Shares Jumped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of medical diagnostic testing specialist Quest Diagnostics (NYS: DGX) are feeling much better today, up by as much as 15%, after the company announced a jam-packed earnings report this morning.

So what: Revenue for the quarter came in at $1.9 billion, and earnings per share was $1.18. Revenue was right on target with analysts' expectations, while the bottom line registered a beat compared with the $1.11 consensus. Full-year earnings per share guidance is in the range of $4.30 to $4.35, topping the $4.21 estimate.

Now what: In other news, the company had a couple of additional announcements, which are likely the culprit of today's today. Quest is cranking up its quarterly dividend by a massive 70% to $0.17 per share, as the company said it plans on returning the majority of future cash flows to investors through dividends and share repurchases. Additionally, Quest CEO Surya Mohapatra will be stepping down. While CEO resignations are usually negative, this has sparked speculation that the company may become a takeover candidate.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributor Evan Niu holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Quest Diagnostics. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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