Bank of America Corporation downgraded shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning, Marketbeat reports. The brokerage currently has $63.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock, down from their previous target price of $67.00.

DFS has been the subject of several other reports. Instinet reiterated a buy rating and set a $86.00 price target (down from $88.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Saturday, April 29th. BidaskClub upgraded Discover Financial Services from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a buy rating and set a $82.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Tuesday, May 16th. Evercore ISI reduced their price target on Discover Financial Services from $79.00 to $78.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 26th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $69.00 price target on Discover Financial Services and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Discover Financial Services has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $74.21.

Shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) opened at 60.42 on Thursday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $61.26 and its 200-day moving average is $65.18. The firm has a market cap of $22.66 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.42 and a beta of 1.47. Discover Financial Services has a 52-week low of $53.91 and a 52-week high of $74.33.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.45 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $2.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.40 billion. Discover Financial Services had a net margin of 20.91% and a return on equity of 21.00%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.47 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Discover Financial Services will post $5.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Discover Financial Services announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to buyback $2.23 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to buy up to 9.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be issued a dividend of $0.35 per share. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.32%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 22nd. This is a positive change from Discover Financial Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 20.73%.

In other news, COO Roger C. Hochschild sold 15,258 shares of Discover Financial Services stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.48, for a total transaction of $953,319.84. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 830,257 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $51,874,457.36. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Carlos Minetti sold 8,000 shares of Discover Financial Services stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.42, for a total value of $499,360.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 205,149 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,805,400.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 53,258 shares of company stock worth $3,328,280 in the last three months. 0.96% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in DFS. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 10.6% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 5,427,026 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $371,154,000 after buying an additional 520,197 shares during the last quarter. LVM Capital Management Ltd. MI raised its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 9.1% in the first quarter. LVM Capital Management Ltd. MI now owns 82,952 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,673,000 after buying an additional 6,900 shares in the last quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC raised its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 1.1% in the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 4,296 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $287,000 after buying an additional 46 shares in the last quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. raised its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 0.7% in the first quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 17,557 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,201,000 after buying an additional 117 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rathbone Brothers plc raised its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 33.8% in the first quarter. Rathbone Brothers plc now owns 175,812 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $12,024,000 after buying an additional 44,406 shares in the last quarter. 84.14% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Discover Financial Services

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 and Payment Services. It provides direct banking products and services, and payment services through its subsidiaries.

Analyst Recommendations for Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)

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