Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning.
According to Zacks, “In the last six months, Discover Financial’s shares have outperformed the industry. The company is well poised for long-term growth on the back of consistent rise in revenues. Its strong Direct Banking business has significantly supported the top line. The company’s card sales have been soaring over past many years. Its efficient capital management also impresses. However, it has been incurring considerable expenses in order to compete with other credit card issuers, attract and retain customers, and increase card usage. The rising expenses have been severely weighing on the company’s margins. Its Payments Service segment has been a drag over the past few years despite management’s several corrective efforts. The company will release fourth quarter results after market closes on Jan 24, 2017.”
Several other brokerages also recently commented on DFS. Deutsche Bank assumed coverage on Discover Financial Services in a research note on Tuesday. They set a buy rating and a $92.00 target price for the company. Bank of America raised Discover Financial Services from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $83.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, December 18th. Barclays raised Discover Financial Services from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and upped their price objective for the company from $73.00 to $93.00 in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Wedbush set a $80.00 price objective on Discover Financial Services and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Discover Financial Services from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $78.24.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 7th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 22nd were given a dividend of $0.35 per share. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.79%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 21st. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio is presently 24.10%.
In other Discover Financial Services news, EVP Carlos Minetti sold 8,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.68, for a total value of $533,440.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 173,149 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,545,575.32. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO R. Mark Graf sold 16,503 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.67, for a total value of $1,100,255.01. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 82,402 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,493,741.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 179,277 shares of company stock valued at $12,673,925. Insiders own 0.96% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Grove Bank & Trust boosted its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 2,483.3% during the 3rd quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 1,550 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $100,000 after acquiring an additional 1,490 shares during the last quarter. Rational Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Discover Financial Services during the 3rd quarter valued at about $123,000. Americafirst Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Discover Financial Services during the 3rd quarter valued at about $140,000. Capstone Investment Advisors Netherlands B.V. bought a new stake in shares of Discover Financial Services during the 2nd quarter valued at about $157,000. Finally, San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA bought a new stake in shares of Discover Financial Services during the 2nd quarter valued at about $170,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.77% of the company’s stock.
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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.
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