The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Quest Diagnostics missed estimates on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue contracted and GAAP earnings per share dropped significantly.
Margins shrank across the board.
Quest Diagnostics logged revenue of $1.77 billion. The 20 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted revenue of $1.81 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 5.6% lower than the prior-year quarter's $1.88 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
EPS came in at $1.01. The 23 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $1.06 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.34 for Q4 were 71% lower than the prior-year quarter's $1.18 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 39.5%, 300 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 14.9%, 310 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 3.1%, 700 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.91 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.12.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $7.55 billion. The average EPS estimate is $4.83.
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 545 members out of 579 rating the stock outperform, and 34 members rating it underperform. Among 188 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 182 give Quest Diagnostics a green thumbs-up, and six give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Quest Diagnostics is hold, with an average price target of $62.08.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool recommends 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.