Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) Stock Rating Reaffirmed by Jefferies Group LLC
Jefferies Group LLC restated their buy rating on shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) in a research report report published on Thursday. Jefferies Group LLC currently has a $75.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock, down from their previous price target of $82.00. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Discover Financial Services’ Q3 2017 earnings at $1.50 EPS and Q4 2017 earnings at $1.55 EPS.
Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a buy rating and issued a $84.00 target price on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Monday, April 10th. Instinet reiterated a buy rating and issued a $86.00 price objective (down previously from $88.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Saturday, April 29th. Wells Fargo & Company downgraded Discover Financial Services to a buy rating and set a $70.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Friday, May 19th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a buy rating and issued a $82.00 price objective on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Tuesday, May 16th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Discover Financial Services from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Discover Financial Services presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $74.21.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) opened at 60.42 on Thursday. Discover Financial Services has a 52 week low of $53.91 and a 52 week high of $74.33. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $61.26 and its 200-day moving average price is $65.18. The company has a market cap of $22.66 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.42 and a beta of 1.47.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.40 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.45 by $0.05. Discover Financial Services had a return on equity of 21.00% and a net margin of 20.91%. The business had revenue of $2.42 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.40 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.47 EPS. Discover Financial Services’s quarterly revenue was up 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Discover Financial Services will post $5.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
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The company also recently declared 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. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.32%. This is a boost from Discover Financial Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio is presently 20.73%.
Discover Financial Services declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program 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 buy up to 9.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, CEO David W. Nelms sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.52, for a total value of $1,875,600.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Carlos Minetti sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.42, for a total transaction of $499,360.00. Following the completion of the transaction, 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. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 53,258 shares of company stock worth $3,328,280. Insiders own 0.96% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DFS. Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Discover Financial Services by 3.2% in the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 8,406 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $575,000 after buying an additional 264 shares during the period. Bank of Nova Scotia boosted its position in Discover Financial Services by 171.5% in the first quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 88,397 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $6,045,000 after buying an additional 55,840 shares during the period. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its position in Discover Financial Services by 8.6% in the first quarter. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 5,002 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $342,000 after buying an additional 397 shares during the period. Fulton Bank N.A. boosted its position in 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 during the period. Finally, Quantitative Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in Discover Financial Services during the first quarter valued at approximately $868,000. 84.14% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other 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.
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