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BoA Lowers Quest Diagnostics to 'Buy'

Banc of America downgraded Quest Diagnostics (DGX) to buy from strong buy.

Analyst Todd Richter says a great deal of uncertainty and confusion was created in the lab sector as the result of an earnings shortfall anouncement by Lab Corp. While he doesn't believe the announcement is any indication of a fundamental problem at Quest, he thinks the uncertainty created will plague its valuation for the next several months, or maybe the next few quarters. He sees $3.11 2002 earnings per share and $4.06 for 2003. Richter cut his 12-month target to $75.

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