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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Quest takes $89.5 million charge as it puts unit up for sale, (NYSE: DGX)

Quest Diagnostics Inc, the No. 1 U.S. clinical laboratory-testing company, said on Wednesday that it would sell its diagnostic products business and take a charge of $89.5 million, or 56 cents per share, to write off its value and that of another business.Quest also said that Superstorm Sandy, which caused deaths, flooding, extended widespread power outages and disrupted transportation in the Northeast starting in late October, had hurt fourth-quarter earnings by 6 cents per share and fourth-quarter revenues by $21 million.Quest had already lowered its outlook for 2012 before the storm, citing slowing growth as consumers have used fewer medical services due to economic pressures and the government and insurers have sought to reduce payments to labs and other providers.In November, Quest said it would cut costs by $100 million and restructure to restore growth.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (Quest Diagnostics) is a provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, providing insights that enable patients and physicians to make healthcare decisions. Shares of DGX remained unchanged at $59.86. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $53.25 and as high as $64.87. On average, 956515 shares of DGX exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 0.