Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) has received a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the twenty-six analysts that are currently covering the company, MarketBeat reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 1-year target price among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $73.00.

DFS has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Discover Financial Services from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 29th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on Discover Financial Services from $71.00 to $70.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, September 8th. ValuEngine downgraded Discover Financial Services from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. William Blair reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $82.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Friday, June 16th.

In other Discover Financial Services news, SVP Edward W. Mcgrogan sold 1,228 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.06, for a total value of $74,981.68. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 13,085 shares in the company, valued at approximately $798,970.10. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, 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 Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.10, for a total value of $1,773,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,529,912 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $90,417,799.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 157,002 shares of company stock valued at $9,580,337. 0.96% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of DFS. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Discover Financial Services by 3,280.4% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 30,704,582 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,099,886,000 after buying an additional 29,796,268 shares in the last quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in Discover Financial Services by 1,458.6% in the 2nd quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,559,909 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $221,391,000 after buying an additional 3,331,498 shares in the last quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Discover Financial Services in the 2nd quarter valued at $199,350,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its holdings in Discover Financial Services by 492.6% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 3,504,010 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $217,914,000 after buying an additional 2,912,742 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership grew its holdings in Discover Financial Services by 320.9% in the 2nd quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 2,672,385 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $166,196,000 after buying an additional 2,037,515 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 85.45% of the company’s stock.

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Shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE DFS) traded up 1.50% during trading on Friday, hitting $61.41. 2,111,776 shares of the stock traded hands. Discover Financial Services has a 52-week low of $53.91 and a 52-week high of $74.33. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $59.72 and a 200 day moving average of $62.41. The firm has a market cap of $22.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.15 and a beta of 1.45.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.45 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $2.42 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.40 billion. Discover Financial Services had a net margin of 20.91% and a return on equity of 21.28%. Discover Financial Services’s quarterly revenue was up 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.47 EPS. Analysts expect that Discover Financial Services will post $5.92 EPS for the current year.

Discover Financial Services declared that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to repurchase $2.23 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to purchase up to 9.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 7th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 24th were paid a $0.35 dividend. This is an increase from Discover Financial Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.28%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 22nd. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.18%.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)

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