Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is one of 27 publicly-traded companies in the “Consumer Lending” industry, but how does it compare to its peers? We will compare Discover Financial Services to similar businesses based on the strength of its risk, dividends, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitability and institutional ownership.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Discover Financial Services and its peers gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Discover Financial Services $7.17 billion N/A 11.35
Discover Financial Services Competitors $564.84 million $92.07 million 16.91

Discover Financial Services has higher revenue, but lower earnings than its peers. Discover Financial Services is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

85.5% of Discover Financial Services shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 77.5% of shares of all “Consumer Lending” companies are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of Discover Financial Services shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 15.2% of shares of all “Consumer Lending” companies are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Discover Financial Services and its peers, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Discover Financial Services 1 7 16 0 2.63
Discover Financial Services Competitors 196 751 1075 58 2.48

Discover Financial Services presently has a consensus price target of $73.63, indicating a potential upside of 12.00%. As a group, “Consumer Lending” companies have a potential upside of 47.48%. Given Discover Financial Services’ peers higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Discover Financial Services has less favorable growth aspects than its peers.

Dividends

Discover Financial Services pays an annual dividend of $1.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Discover Financial Services pays out 24.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Consumer Lending” companies pay a dividend yield of 1.6% and pay out 25.6% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Discover Financial Services has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Discover Financial Services is clearly a better dividend stock than its peers, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Profitability

This table compares Discover Financial Services and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Discover Financial Services 20.91% 21.28% 2.46%
Discover Financial Services Competitors -28.26% -17.28% 0.63%

Volatility and Risk

Discover Financial Services has a beta of 1.47, meaning that its share price is 47% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Discover Financial Services’ peers have a beta of 1.49, meaning that their average share price is 49% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Discover Financial Services beats its peers on 9 of the 14 factors compared.

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. It offers its customers credit card loans, private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans and deposit products. The Company’s Direct Banking segment 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. The Company’s direct banking offers credit cards, student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, and other consumer lending and deposit products. The Payment Services segment includes PULSE, Diners Club and the Company’s Network Partners business.

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