Spark Investment Management LLC lowered its stake in Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) by 58.3% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 19,700 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 27,500 shares during the period. Spark Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Discover Financial Services were worth $1,225,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Discover Financial Services by 3,280.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 30,704,582 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,099,886,000 after buying an additional 29,796,268 shares in the last quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in Discover Financial Services by 1,458.6% in the second quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,559,909 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $221,391,000 after buying an additional 3,331,498 shares in the last quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA boosted its position in Discover Financial Services by 19.5% in the first quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA now owns 6,681,700 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $456,961,000 after buying an additional 1,088,500 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Discover Financial Services by 42.9% in the first quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 3,539,440 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $242,063,000 after buying an additional 1,062,007 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Janus Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Discover Financial Services by 85.4% in the first quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 1,609,893 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $110,101,000 after buying an additional 741,786 shares in the last quarter. 86.76% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE DFS) opened at 61.26 on Thursday. Discover Financial Services has a one year low of $53.91 and a one year high of $74.33. The company has a market capitalization of $22.81 billion, a PE ratio of 10.57 and a beta of 1.46. The company has a 50-day moving average of $61.30 and a 200-day moving average of $64.62.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the 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 business 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 firm posted $1.47 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Discover Financial Services will post $5.93 earnings per share for the current year.

Discover Financial Services declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to repurchase $2.23 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to buy up to 9.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be paid a $0.35 dividend. This is a positive change from Discover Financial Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.29%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 22nd. Discover Financial Services’s payout ratio is presently 20.73%.

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DFS has been the topic of several research reports. Evercore ISI dropped their price target on Discover Financial Services from $79.00 to $78.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 26th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. dropped their price target on Discover Financial Services from $85.00 to $75.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 26th. CIBC dropped their price target on Discover Financial Services from $85.00 to $75.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 26th. Instinet reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $86.00 price target (down previously from $88.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Saturday, April 29th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG cut Discover Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $87.00 to $71.00 in a report on Monday, May 1st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Discover Financial Services currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $74.21.

In other Discover Financial Services news, COO Roger C. Hochschild sold 15,258 shares of Discover Financial Services stock in a transaction on Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.48, for a total value of $953,319.84. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 830,257 shares in the company, valued at approximately $51,874,457.36. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Carlos Minetti sold 8,000 shares of Discover Financial Services stock in a transaction on Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.42, for a total transaction of $499,360.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 205,149 shares in the company, valued at $12,805,400.58. 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 quarter. Company insiders own 0.96% 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 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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