Investors Buy High Volume of Put Options on Discover Financial Services (DFS)

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Thursday. Stock investors bought 2,524 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 776% compared to the typical daily volume of 288 put options.

In other news, COO Roger C. Hochschild sold 15,258 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.79, for a total transaction of $1,019,081.82. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 769,440 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $51,390,897.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO David W. Nelms sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.55, for a total value of $1,936,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 123,019 shares of company stock worth $8,099,143 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.96% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 6.5% in the 2nd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 921,150 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $57,286,000 after acquiring an additional 56,046 shares during the last quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 120.3% in the 2nd quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC now owns 634,391 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $39,453,000 after acquiring an additional 346,406 shares during the last quarter. Annex Advisory Services LLC increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 23.9% in the 2nd quarter. Annex Advisory Services LLC now owns 15,686 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $975,000 after acquiring an additional 3,027 shares during the last quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 97.6% in the 3rd quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. now owns 7,035,035 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $453,619,000 after acquiring an additional 3,475,126 shares during the last quarter. Finally, NorthCoast Asset Management LLC bought a new position in Discover Financial Services in the 2nd quarter worth about $1,535,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.99% of the company’s stock.

Discover Financial Services (DFS) opened at $71.12 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $25,654.67, a PE ratio of 12.13, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 1.53. The company has a quick ratio of 1.55, a current ratio of 1.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.52. Discover Financial Services has a one year low of $57.50 and a one year high of $74.33.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 7th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 22nd will be paid a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 21st. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.97%. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.05%.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on DFS. Zacks Investment Research cut Discover Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, October 23rd. Buckingham Research began coverage on Discover Financial Services in a report on Monday, October 2nd. They set a “buy” rating and a $74.00 price objective on the stock. ValuEngine cut Discover Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, September 11th. BMO Capital Markets dropped their price objective on Discover Financial Services from $69.00 to $67.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on Discover Financial Services from $71.00 to $70.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, September 8th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $74.45.

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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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