Discover Financial Services’ (DFS) “Buy” Rating Reaffirmed at Royal Bank Of Canada

Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $86.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

A number of other equities analysts also recently issued reports on DFS. Morgan Stanley reiterated an overweight rating and set a $75.00 price target (down previously from $81.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Instinet reiterated a buy rating and set a $81.00 price target (down previously from $86.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Barclays PLC reiterated an equal weight rating and set a $70.00 price target (down previously from $79.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. William Blair reiterated an outperform rating on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $69.00 price target on Discover Financial Services and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $74.45.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) traded up 0.13% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $66.78. The company had a trading volume of 1,713,309 shares. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $63.43 and a 200 day moving average price of $61.68. Discover Financial Services has a one year low of $55.41 and a one year high of $74.33. The company has a market capitalization of $24.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.52 and a beta of 1.47.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.45 by ($0.05). The company had revenue of $2.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.40 billion. Discover Financial Services had a net margin of 20.04% and a return on equity of 20.74%. Discover Financial Services’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.47 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Discover Financial Services will post $5.96 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, December 7th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 22nd will be given a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 21st. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.10%. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 24.05%.

Discover Financial Services declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, July 25th that permits the company to buyback $2.75 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to repurchase up to 11.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, EVP Carlos Minetti sold 8,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.51, for a total transaction of $516,080.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, COO Roger C. Hochschild sold 15,258 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.87, for a total transaction of $989,786.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 157,002 shares of company stock valued at $9,694,424 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.96% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DFS. V Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Discover Financial Services during the 2nd quarter valued at $101,000. FNY Managed Accounts LLC purchased a new position in shares of Discover Financial Services during the 1st quarter valued at $124,000. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. grew its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 16.7% during the 2nd quarter. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. now owns 2,002 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $125,000 after purchasing an additional 286 shares in the last quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC grew its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 2.3% during the 1st quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,146 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $147,000 after purchasing an additional 48 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Capstone Investment Advisors Netherlands B.V. purchased a new position in shares of Discover Financial Services during the 2nd quarter valued at $157,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.41% 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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