Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) was the target of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Investors bought 19,168 call options on the company. This is an increase of Infinity compared to the average daily volume of 0 call options.

Shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE DFS) opened at $67.44 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $24.32 billion, a PE ratio of 11.50, a PEG ratio of 1.77 and a beta of 1.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.39, a current ratio of 1.58 and a quick ratio of 1.58.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 7th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 22nd will be issued a $0.35 dividend. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.08%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 21st. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 24.05%.

Discover Financial Services announced that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Tuesday, July 25th that allows the company to repurchase $2.75 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to reacquire up to 11.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of brokerages recently commented on DFS. BidaskClub cut Discover Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research lowered Discover Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 target price (down from $82.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Compass Point lowered Discover Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Nomura reduced their target price on Discover Financial Services from $81.00 to $79.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $74.45.

In related news, CEO David W. Nelms sold 30,000 shares of Discover Financial Services stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.80, for a total transaction of $2,004,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Kathryn Mcnamara Corley sold 4,000 shares of Discover Financial Services stock in a transaction on Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.63, for a total value of $238,520.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 150,744 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,988,864.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 172,277 shares of company stock valued at $11,020,650. 0.96% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. 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 during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 25,748,479 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,601,297,000 after acquiring an additional 217,535 shares during the period. Boston Partners lifted its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 4.6% in the 3rd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 12,187,219 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $785,833,000 after acquiring an additional 538,244 shares during the period. Capital World Investors lifted its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 18.3% in the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 10,578,342 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $657,867,000 after acquiring an additional 1,638,334 shares during the period. Finally, FMR LLC lifted its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 17.4% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 10,374,397 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $645,184,000 after acquiring an additional 1,534,882 shares during the period. 86.40% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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