Quest Diagnostics Inc., the top U.S. provider of diagnostic testing services, said Tuesday it has lost its contract with UnitedHealthcare, which accounts for about 7 percent of Quest revenues.
The news slammed Quest shares, which plunged more than 17 percent.
Quest lost out to Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings, which said it had won an exclusive, 10-year agreement with UnitedHealthcare beginning Jan. 1, 2007.
Quest has about 42,000 employees. Besides doing medical tests, Quest is the largest U.S. provider of drug and alcohol testing for employers and also does background checks of prospective employees.
Toyota Motor Corp. trounced the domestic automakers in the U.S. marketplace last month, posting a 25 percent year-over-year sales increase. General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG each saw their sales slip by a few percentage points, while Ford Motor Co.’s sales gained 4.7 percent.
GM’s sales fell 3.1 percent last month, but the nation’s largest automaker put a positive spin on the decline, attributing it to a reduction in low-margin sales to rental companies. DaimlerChrysler said its overall decrease of 2.3 percent mostly stemmed from its U.S. subsidiary, Chrysler Group, where sales fell 3.8 percent. Sales of Mercedes-Benz vehicles rose 13.2 percent.
At Chrysler, car sales plunged 26.6 percent, while trucks rose 4.3 percent.