Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $65.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target points to a potential upside of 7.81% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Discover Financial’s earnings of $1.56 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.4% and  improved 13% year over year, mainly on higher revenues. The company’s inorganic growth remains strong and its solid cash position enables efficient capital deployment. Over last few quarters, the company achieved its targeted loan growth along with significant profitability. Effective control on expenses helped the company register substantial bottom-line growth. In addition to these, extensive student loan portfolio, global expansions, prudent capital management and increased card sales remain long-term growth drivers for Discover Financial. However, stiff competition, lawsuit damages and regulatory challenges as well as weakness in the Payment Services segment and escalating expenses are headwinds.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on DFS. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $75.00 target price on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Friday, August 12th. Credit Suisse Group AG cut their price target on shares of Discover Financial Services from $62.00 to $56.98 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. RBC Capital Markets restated a “top pick” rating and issued a $73.00 price target (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and issued a $63.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have given a buy rating and three have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Discover Financial Services has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $63.83.

Analyst Recommendations for Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) opened at 60.29 on Tuesday. Discover Financial Services has a 12-month low of $42.86 and a 12-month high of $60.58. The firm has a market cap of $23.78 billion, a PE ratio of 10.97 and a beta of 1.39. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $56.39 and its 200 day moving average is $56.31.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 17th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 3rd will be issued a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.99%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 1st. Discover Financial Services’s payout ratio is currently 21.74%.

In other Discover Financial Services news, CEO David W. Nelms sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.46, for a total value of $846,900.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,727,268 shares in the company, valued at $97,521,551.28. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO R. Mark Graf sold 25,032 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.78, for a total transaction of $1,421,316.96. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 116,052 shares in the company, valued at $6,589,432.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.07% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Financial Architects Inc boosted its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 724.6% in the second quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 1,880 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 1,652 shares during the period. Evercore Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 24.9% in the second quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,989 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 396 shares during the period. Mycio Wealth Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 43.7% in the second quarter. Mycio Wealth Partners LLC now owns 2,054 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 625 shares during the period. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 21.0% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,257 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 391 shares during the period. Finally, Seven Eight Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Discover Financial Services during the second quarter valued at approximately $124,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.26% of the company’s stock.

Discover Financial Services Company Profile

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:DFS

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