The Discover Financial Services (DFS) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

The Discover Financial Services (DFS) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Discover Financial shares have outperformed the Zacks categorized Consumer Loan industry in a year's time. The company remains well positioned for growth given its strength in credit card business. The U.S. consumer finance industry remains healthy amid a declining unemployment and improving housing sector. The rising rate environment further creates optimism. Discover Financial, with strong brand recognition, product innovation and customer acquisition strategies, will continue to benefit from the broader favorable trends.  Management anticipates total loan portfolio which comprises credit card loans, personal loans and private student loans to grow in the range of 4–6% for 2016. However, stiff competition, lawsuit damages and regulatory challenges as well as weakness in the Payment Services segment and escalating expenses remain headwinds.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also commented on the company. Jefferies Group restated a buy rating and set a $82.00 price objective on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research report on Tuesday, January 10th. Barclays PLC set a $79.00 price objective on Discover Financial Services and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Sunday, January 8th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a buy rating on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research report on Sunday, January 8th. Compass Point assumed coverage on Discover Financial Services in a research report on Friday, January 6th. They set a buy rating for the company. Finally, Susquehanna lowered Discover Financial Services from a positive rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, January 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, nineteen have issued a buy rating and three have given a strong buy rating to the stock. Discover Financial Services has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $66.78.

Shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) opened at 70.36 on Monday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $71.41 and a 200 day moving average of $61.37. The firm has a market cap of $27.75 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.80 and a beta of 1.47. Discover Financial Services has a 12 month low of $42.86 and a 12 month high of $74.33.

In other news, EVP Kathryn Mcnamara Corley sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.30, for a total transaction of $844,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 156,476 shares in the company, valued at $8,809,598.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, COO Roger C. Hochschild sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.16, for a total value of $681,600.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 815,872 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $55,609,835.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.07% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DFS. SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new stake in Discover Financial Services during the third quarter worth $1,753,000. PGGM Investments increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 198.0% in the second quarter. PGGM Investments now owns 893,529 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $47,884,000 after buying an additional 593,661 shares during the last quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 1.0% in the second quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 2,065,087 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $110,668,000 after buying an additional 20,830 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 2.7% in the third quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 1,452,623 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $82,145,000 after buying an additional 37,658 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BB&T Securities LLC increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 0.3% in the third quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 966,205 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $54,638,000 after buying an additional 3,038 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 83.24% 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, which includes consumer banking and lending products, specifically Discover-branded credit cards issued to individuals and small businesses on the Discover Network and other consumer banking products and services, including personal loans, home equity loans, and other consumer lending and deposit products, and Payment Services segment, which includes PULSE and its Network Partners business.

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