Quest Surges on Upbeat Earnings Expectations

The clinical laboratory testing company said it increased sales by modifying managed-care contracts.
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Updated from 10:50 a.m. EDT

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Quest Diagnostics

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, one of the largest clinical laboratory testing companies in the U.S., hit a new 52-week high Tuesday after the company said it expects to exceed Wall Street's profit expectations for the second quarter by 15 cents a share.

Teterboro, N.J.-based Quest said it increased sales by modifying managed-care contracts.

Including a charge that will shave 3 cents off its per-share earnings, Quest said it expects profit from operations to be 64 cents a share, vs. the 49-cent average estimate of analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

.

The company said it expects profit for 2000 to exceed the $1.81 average estimate of analysts. It will announce results July 24.

Quest shares jumped on the news, finishing regular trading up 12, or 15%, at 93.