Assenagon Asset Management S.A. grew its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) by 2,453.6% in the third quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 97,035 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 93,235 shares during the quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A.’s holdings in Discover Financial Services were worth $7,418,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in DFS. Adirondack Trust Co. boosted its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 204.5% during the third quarter. Adirondack Trust Co. now owns 1,340 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $102,000 after purchasing an additional 900 shares during the period. Sandy Spring Bank boosted its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 181.5% during the second quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 1,689 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $119,000 after purchasing an additional 1,089 shares during the period. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 8,341.7% during the second quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 2,026 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $143,000 after purchasing an additional 2,002 shares during the period. Edge Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Discover Financial Services during the second quarter valued at approximately $155,000. Finally, Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 440.1% during the second quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 6,670 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $157,000 after purchasing an additional 5,435 shares during the period. 85.53% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of DFS stock opened at $70.11 on Friday. Discover Financial Services has a 52 week low of $63.31 and a 52 week high of $81.93. The firm has a market capitalization of $23.71 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.44, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.71 and a beta of 1.51. The company has a quick ratio of 1.49, a current ratio of 1.08 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.54.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $2.05 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.05. Discover Financial Services had a return on equity of 25.15% and a net margin of 19.51%. The company had revenue of $2.72 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.69 billion. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Discover Financial Services will post 7.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 6th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 21st will be paid a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.28%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 20th. Discover Financial Services’s payout ratio is 26.76%.
Discover Financial Services declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, July 19th that permits the company to repurchase $3.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to reacquire up to 11.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
A number of research firms have recently weighed in on DFS. Sandler O’Neill reissued a “buy” rating and set a $87.00 price objective on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Bank of America increased their price objective on Discover Financial Services from $86.00 to $92.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 21st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised Discover Financial Services from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. Zacks Investment Research lowered Discover Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 16th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co dropped their price objective on Discover Financial Services from $82.00 to $78.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, October 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, thirteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Discover Financial Services has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $86.80.
In other Discover Financial Services news, EVP Carlos Minetti sold 3,750 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.21, for a total value of $293,287.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 133,852 shares in the company, valued at $10,468,564.92. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO David W. Nelms sold 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.11, for a total value of $2,343,300.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,210,798 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $94,575,431.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 67,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,241,113 in the last ninety days. 0.81% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Discover Financial Services Company Profile
Discover Financial Services, through its subsidiaries, operates as a direct banking and payment services company in the United States. The Direct Banking segment offers Discover-branded credit cards to individuals; and other consumer products and services, including private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, and other consumer lending, as well as deposit products, such as certificates of deposit, money market accounts, savings accounts, checking accounts, and individual retirement arrangement certificates of deposit.
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