Smith Asset Management Group LP increased its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) by 6.7% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 321,833 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 20,317 shares during the period. Smith Asset Management Group LP’s holdings in Discover Financial Services were worth $20,006,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of DFS. V Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Discover Financial Services during the second quarter valued at $101,000. FNY Managed Accounts LLC bought a new stake in Discover Financial Services during the first quarter valued at $124,000. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 16.7% in the second quarter. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. now owns 2,002 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 286 shares in the last quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 2.3% in the first quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,146 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 48 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Financial Architects Inc increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 65.1% in the second quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 2,600 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $162,000 after buying an additional 1,025 shares in the last quarter. 86.76% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE DFS) opened at 59.64 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $22.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.29 and a beta of 1.46. Discover Financial Services has a 12-month low of $53.91 and a 12-month high of $74.33. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $61.28 and a 200 day moving average of $64.52.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.40 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.45 by $0.05. Discover Financial Services had a net margin of 20.91% and a return on equity of 21.28%. The firm had revenue of $2.42 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.40 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.47 earnings per share. Discover Financial Services’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Discover Financial Services will post $5.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Discover Financial Services announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to repurchase $2.23 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to repurchase up to 9.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans 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 $0.35 dividend. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.35%. This is a positive change from Discover Financial Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 20.73%.

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Several analysts have recently weighed in on DFS shares. Instinet reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 price target (down previously from $88.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Saturday, April 29th. Wells Fargo & Company downgraded shares of Discover Financial Services to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Friday, May 19th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Tuesday, May 16th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Friday, May 12th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Friday, May 12th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $74.21.

In other news, SVP Edward W. Mcgrogan sold 1,228 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.06, for a total value of $74,981.68. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 13,085 shares in the company, valued at approximately $798,970.10. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO David W. Nelms sold 30,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.52, for a total transaction of $1,875,600.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 107,744 shares of company stock worth $6,658,830 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.96% of the company’s stock.

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)

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