Another dividend from Quest Diagnostics

After coming up empty on the dividend front yesterday, today’s $0.45 payment from Quest Diagnostics got me back on track.

It boosted by October dividend income to $19.61 and brought my 2017 haul to $253.62.

Here’s a closer look at the company for those of you looking for what I believe is a solid choice for a dividend payer in the healthcare sector.

Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics (DGX) provides diagnostic testing, information and services that help patients and physicians make better healthcare decisions.

Seems pretty straightforward, right?

It’s been in the news most recently for announcing the acquisition of the Cleveland HeartLab. The move forms a strategic collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic – a hospital I, having lived in Ohio my entire life, have a hell of a lot of respect for. I’ve never had to visit the place, thankfully, but you don’t have to search very hard to find all sorts of stories about the kind of work being done at the world-class facility.

I think the collaboration will mean nothing but good things for Quest and its stock.

My one share has dipped $3.87 (4.03%) since I purchased it back in February, but, thanks in large part to the announcement I just talked about, I think it’ll move in the other direction sooner than later.

It might be a good time to buy a few shares if you haven’t already. Its P/E ratio is sitting at 18.58 and Quest Diagnostics is trading closer to its 52-week low ($79.12) than its 52-week high ($112.96).

Cash isn’t a problem as the company has a profit margin of 9.93%, a manageable debt/capital ratio of 43.89% and earnings per share of $4.96.

DGX has a dividend yield of 1.95%, a low 36.29% payout ratio and has been boosting its dividend each of the last five years. The raises have been steady, too, at a growth rate of 11.79% over the course of the last three years.

March on!

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