Discover Financial Services (DFS) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Discover Financial’s shares have underperformed the industry year to date. Its weak Payment Service segment continues to hurt profitability. It has also been incurring expenses in order to compete with other credit card issuers, attract and retain customers, and increase card usage from past many quarters. The company has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 and 2018 earnings being revised downward over the last 90 days. The company will release its third quarter results on Oct 24, 2017 after the market closes.”

DFS has been the subject of a number of other reports. Wells Fargo & Company started coverage on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $69.00 price objective for the company. Buckingham Research started coverage on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Monday, October 2nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $74.00 price objective for the company. Bank of America Corporation lowered shares of Discover Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $67.00 to $63.00 in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $69.00 price objective on shares of Discover Financial Services and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Discover Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $73.58.

Discover Financial Services (DFS) traded down 1.10% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $64.63. 926,358 shares of the stock traded hands. Discover Financial Services has a 12 month low of $54.45 and a 12 month high of $74.33. The stock has a market cap of $24.07 billion, a PE ratio of 11.15 and a beta of 1.47. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $61.57 and a 200-day moving average price of $61.67.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.45 by ($0.05). Discover Financial Services had a return on equity of 19.94% and a net margin of 22.57%. The company had revenue of $2.42 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.40 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.47 EPS. Discover Financial Services’s quarterly revenue was up 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Discover Financial Services will post $5.92 EPS for the current year.

Discover Financial Services declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $2.23 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the financial services provider to purchase up to 9.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other news, EVP Carlos Minetti sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.51, for a total value of $516,080.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO David W. Nelms sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.13, for a total transaction of $1,833,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,559,912 shares in the company, valued at $95,357,420.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 157,002 shares of company stock worth $9,694,424. Insiders own 0.96% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DFS. V Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Discover Financial Services in the 2nd quarter worth about $101,000. FNY Managed Accounts LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Discover Financial Services in the 1st quarter worth about $124,000. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. grew its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 16.7% in the 2nd quarter. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. now owns 2,002 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $125,000 after buying an additional 286 shares during the period. Perigon Wealth Management LLC grew its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 2.3% in the 1st quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,146 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 48 shares during the period. Finally, Capstone Investment Advisors Netherlands B.V. purchased a new stake in shares of Discover Financial Services in the 2nd quarter worth about $157,000. 85.45% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)

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