Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) announced that its board has authorized a share buyback plan, which allows the company to buyback $2.75 billion in outstanding shares on Tuesday, July 25th, EventVestor reports. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to reacquire up to 11.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Rafferty Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Wednesday, March 29th. Evercore ISI cut their price target on Discover Financial Services from $79.00 to $78.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 26th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $82.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Friday, April 7th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $68.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Tuesday, April 11th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $84.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Monday, April 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Discover Financial Services has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $75.56.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE DFS) traded down 0.24% on Wednesday, reaching $63.64. 783,354 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Discover Financial Services has a 52-week low of $53.91 and a 52-week high of $74.33. The firm has a market capitalization of $24.20 billion, a PE ratio of 10.87 and a beta of 1.47. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $60.96 and its 200 day moving average price is $65.38.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 25th. The financial services provider reported $1.43 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.42 by $0.01. Discover Financial Services had a net margin of 22.08% and a return on equity of 21.86%. The business had revenue of $2.34 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.36 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.35 earnings per share. Discover Financial Services’s revenue was up 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Discover Financial Services will post $5.98 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 24th will be issued a $0.35 dividend. This is a positive change from Discover Financial Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.19%. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 20.48%.

In other Discover Financial Services news, CEO David W. Nelms sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.18, for a total value of $1,865,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,674,732 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $104,134,835.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO R. Mark Graf sold 29,584 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.50, for a total transaction of $1,908,168.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 98,905 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,379,372.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 142,600 shares of company stock worth $8,976,046 over the last 90 days. 0.96% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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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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