Laboratory Corp. of America (LH) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $185.00 target price on the medical research company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “LabCorp has outperformed its industry over the three months. Diagnostics business grew organically in terms of both revenue and volume despite additional price reductions due to PAMA and the loss of exclusivity in two of the company’s largest managed care contracts. This apart, Covance Drug Development has also reported sturdy organic growth. The LaunchPad initiatives are also well on track. New acquisitions like MI Bioresearch and Envigo look promising. In the first quarter of 2019, LabCorp reported strong underlying performance and organic growth across both Diagnostics and Drug Development businesses banking on solid execution of three fundamental strategies. On the flip side, the disposition of certain businesses and the implementation of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) dented growth. Unfavorable currency transaction continues to remain as a major headwind. The company expects 2019 to continue to witness similar hurdles.”

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on LH. TheStreet upgraded shares of Laboratory Corp. of America from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research report on Friday, May 3rd. Canaccord Genuity raised their price objective on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America from $155.00 to $165.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Citigroup raised their price objective on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America from $157.00 to $176.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. UBS Group raised their price objective on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America from $178.00 to $195.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, Wolfe Research assumed coverage on shares of Laboratory Corp. of America in a research report on Tuesday, April 2nd. They issued an underperform rating for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $179.00.

LH stock traded down $0.05 during trading on Thursday, hitting $164.94. 240,963 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 929,883. Laboratory Corp. of America has a one year low of $119.38 and a one year high of $190.35. The company has a market capitalization of $16.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.97, a P/E/G ratio of 1.71 and a beta of 1.15. The company has a quick ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 1.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77.

Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The medical research company reported $2.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.53 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $2.79 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.82 billion. Laboratory Corp. of America had a net margin of 8.59% and a return on equity of 16.59%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $2.78 EPS. As a group, research analysts expect that Laboratory Corp. of America will post 11.27 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Robert E. Mittelstaedt, Jr. sold 3,700 shares of Laboratory Corp. of America stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $166.30, for a total transaction of $615,310.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 18,909 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,144,566.70. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Lisa J. Uthgenannt sold 4,000 shares of Laboratory Corp. of America stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $164.00, for a total transaction of $656,000.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 4,638 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $760,632. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 8,200 shares of company stock valued at $1,352,410. 0.74% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of LH. Commonwealth Bank of Australia grew its holdings in Laboratory Corp. of America by 21.3% during the fourth quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 10,902 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,373,000 after purchasing an additional 1,911 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Laboratory Corp. of America during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $120,695,000. BRYN MAWR TRUST Co grew its holdings in Laboratory Corp. of America by 8.1% during the fourth quarter. BRYN MAWR TRUST Co now owns 35,695 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $4,510,000 after purchasing an additional 2,666 shares during the period. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in Laboratory Corp. of America by 8.7% during the fourth quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC now owns 5,934 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $750,000 after purchasing an additional 475 shares during the period. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB grew its holdings in Laboratory Corp. of America by 7.3% during the fourth quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,120,509 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $267,945,000 after purchasing an additional 143,426 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 91.26% of the company’s stock.

About Laboratory Corp. of America

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings operates as an independent clinical laboratory company worldwide. It operates in two segments, LabCorp Diagnostics (LCD) and Covance Drug Development. It offers various clinical laboratory tests, such as blood chemistry analyses, urinalyses, blood cell counts, thyroid tests, Pap tests, hemoglobin A1C and vitamin D products, prostate-specific antigens, tests for sexually-transmitted diseases, hepatitis C tests, microbiology cultures and procedures, and alcohol and other substance-abuse tests.

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Analyst Recommendations for Laboratory Corp. of America (NYSE:LH)

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