Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Discover Financial’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. The company's third quarter earnings of $1.56 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.4% and  improved 13% year over year, mainly on higher revenues. However, stiff competition, lawsuit damages and regulatory challenges as well as weakness in the Payment Services segment and escalating expenses are headwinds.”

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on DFS. Jefferies Group upped their target price on shares of Discover Financial Services from $66.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 1st. Barclays PLC cut shares of Discover Financial Services from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 7th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $63.00 target price on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Thursday, August 18th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Tuesday, August 23rd. Finally, RBC Capital Markets reissued a “top pick” rating and issued a $73.00 target price (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Wednesday, July 20th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and three have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $64.13.

Analyst Recommendations for Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) opened at 66.70 on Friday. Discover Financial Services has a 1-year low of $42.86 and a 1-year high of $67.18. The firm has a market cap of $26.31 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.14 and a beta of 1.39. The company’s 50 day moving average is $57.00 and its 200-day moving average is $56.48.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 17th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.30 per share. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.80%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 1st. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio is 21.74%.

In related news, Director Michael H. Moskow sold 2,229 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.61, for a total transaction of $126,183.69. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 50,392 shares in the company, valued at $2,852,691.12. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO David W. Nelms sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.46, for a total transaction of $846,900.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,727,268 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $97,521,551.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in DFS. National Pension Service boosted its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 4.2% in the first quarter. National Pension Service now owns 270,452 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $13,771,000 after buying an additional 11,019 shares during the last quarter. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI boosted its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 24.3% in the first quarter. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd FI now owns 69,212 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,524,000 after buying an additional 13,512 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 1.3% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,855,863 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $94,495,000 after buying an additional 23,330 shares in the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 3.5% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 206,033 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $10,491,000 after buying an additional 7,045 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Springbok Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 41.5% in the first quarter. Springbok Capital Management LLC now owns 8,060 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $410,000 after buying an additional 2,362 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.98% 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

Receive News & Stock Ratings for Discover Financial Services Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Discover Financial Services and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.