Shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) have received a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the twenty-five brokerages that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, fifteen have issued a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 1-year price target among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $85.85.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Discover Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 24th. Sandler O’Neill restated a “buy” rating and set a $87.00 price objective on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on Discover Financial Services from $78.00 to $81.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, July 27th.

In other news, CEO David W. Nelms sold 30,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.79, for a total transaction of $2,153,700.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,240,798 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $89,076,888.42. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Carlos Minetti sold 3,750 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.90, for a total value of $262,125.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 101,250 shares of company stock valued at $7,418,813. Insiders own 0.81% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in DFS. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in Discover Financial Services by 0.6% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,279,052 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $92,002,000 after purchasing an additional 7,060 shares in the last quarter. Mackay Shields LLC purchased a new position in Discover Financial Services in the first quarter valued at about $5,945,000. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. grew its stake in Discover Financial Services by 157.1% in the first quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 442,319 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $31,815,000 after purchasing an additional 270,300 shares in the last quarter. Bradley Foster & Sargent Inc. CT grew its stake in Discover Financial Services by 10.6% in the first quarter. Bradley Foster & Sargent Inc. CT now owns 14,763 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,062,000 after purchasing an additional 1,415 shares in the last quarter. Finally, United Super Pty Ltd in its capacity as Trustee for the Construction & Building Unions Superannuation Fund purchased a new position in Discover Financial Services in the first quarter valued at about $3,546,000. 85.79% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

DFS stock traded up $0.57 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $77.67. 41,257 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,668,955. The company has a quick ratio of 1.49, a current ratio of 1.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.54. Discover Financial Services has a 12-month low of $58.48 and a 12-month high of $81.93. The company has a market capitalization of $26.58 billion, a PE ratio of 12.98, a P/E/G ratio of 0.91 and a beta of 1.52.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.91 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.88 by $0.03. Discover Financial Services had a return on equity of 24.25% and a net margin of 19.07%. The business had revenue of $2.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.63 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.40 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Discover Financial Services will post 7.8 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 6th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 23rd were issued a $0.40 dividend. This is a positive change from Discover Financial Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.35. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 22nd. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.06%. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio is 26.76%.

Discover Financial Services announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan 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 plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

About Discover Financial Services

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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Analyst Recommendations for Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)

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