Trading Report: Today, Discover Financial Services (DFS) Raised to “Buy” at The Zacks Investment Research

Today, Discover Financial Services (DFS) Raised to “Buy” at The Zacks Investment Research

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $65.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target would suggest a potential downside of 4.98% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Discover Financial’s earnings of $1.56 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.4% and  improved 13% year over year, mainly on higher revenues. The company’s inorganic growth remains strong and its solid cash position enables efficient capital deployment. Over last few quarters, the company achieved its targeted loan growth along with significant profitability. Effective control on expenses helped the company register substantial bottom-line growth. In addition to these, extensive student loan portfolio, global expansions, prudent capital management and increased card sales remain long-term growth drivers for Discover Financial. However, stiff competition, lawsuit damages and regulatory challenges as well as weakness in the Payment Services segment and escalating expenses are headwinds.”

DFS has been the topic of several other research reports. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Friday, October 28th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $63.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Thursday, August 18th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $63.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. Finally, RBC Capital Markets restated a “top pick” rating and set a $73.00 target price (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and three have given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $64.54.

Shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) traded up 0.19% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $68.41. The stock had a trading volume of 1,159,622 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $26.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.45 and a beta of 1.39. Discover Financial Services has a 1-year low of $42.86 and a 1-year high of $68.88. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $59.32 and a 200 day moving average of $57.11.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 17th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 3rd were given a dividend of $0.30 per share. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.75%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 1st. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 21.74%.

In other news, EVP Kathryn Mcnamara Corley sold 15,000 shares of Discover Financial Services stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.30, for a total transaction of $844,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 156,476 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,809,598.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Diane E. Offereins sold 10,000 shares of Discover Financial Services stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.45, for a total value of $564,500.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 308,962 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,440,904.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of DFS. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new position in shares of Discover Financial Services during the second quarter valued at approximately $287,715,000. Boston Partners increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 11.9% in the second quarter. Boston Partners now owns 16,727,596 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $896,432,000 after buying an additional 1,784,386 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company purchased a new stake in Discover Financial Services during the third quarter valued at about $90,103,000. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 620.3% in the second quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. now owns 1,467,658 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $78,652,000 after buying an additional 1,263,900 shares during the period. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 95.7% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 2,456,013 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $139,045,000 after buying an additional 1,200,918 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 85.10% of the company’s stock.

Discover Financial Services Company Profile

Discover Financial Services (DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company. The Company is a bank holding company, as well as a financial holding company. The Company operates through two segments: Direct Banking, which includes consumer banking and lending products, specifically Discover-branded credit cards issued to individuals and small businesses on the Discover Network and other consumer banking products and services, including personal loans, home equity loans, and other consumer lending and deposit products, and Payment Services segment, which includes PULSE and its Network Partners business.

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