Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Friday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $76.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Discover Financial shares have outperformed Zacks categorized Consumer Loan industry over the last three months. The company's third quarter earnings per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate mainly on higher revenues. The company remains well positioned for growth given its strength in credit card business. The U.S. consumer finance industry remains healthy amid a declining unemployment and improving housing sector. Discover Financial, with strong brand recognition, product innovation and customer acquisition strategies, will continue to benefit from the broader favorable trends.  Management anticipates total loan portfolio which comprises credit card loans, personal loans and private student loans to grow in the range of 4–6% for 2016. However, stiff competition, lawsuit damages and regulatory challenges as well as weakness in the Payment Services segment and escalating expenses remain headwinds.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Jefferies Group upped their target price on Discover Financial Services from $66.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, September 1st. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Tuesday, August 23rd. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $63.00 target price on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Thursday, August 18th. Barclays PLC lowered Discover Financial Services from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 7th. Finally, JMP Securities upped their target price on Discover Financial Services from $63.00 to $71.00 and gave the stock a market outperform rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and three have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $64.54.

Analyst Recommendations for Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)

Shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) opened at 68.41 on Friday. Discover Financial Services has a 12 month low of $42.86 and a 12 month high of $68.88. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $59.32 and its 200 day moving average is $57.11. The firm has a market cap of $26.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.45 and a beta of 1.39.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 17th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 3rd were issued a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.75%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 1st. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 21.74%.

In related news, Director Michael H. Moskow sold 2,229 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 31st. The stock was 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 approximately $2,852,691.12. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Kathryn Mcnamara Corley sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.30, for a total value of $844,500.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 156,476 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,809,598.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.07% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of DFS. Financial Architects Inc boosted its position in 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 worth $100,000 after buying an additional 1,652 shares during the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC boosted its position in Discover Financial Services by 18.8% in the third quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,900 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Cable Hill Partners LLC boosted its position in Discover Financial Services by 112.1% in the third quarter. Cable Hill Partners LLC now owns 1,926 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 1,018 shares during the last quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC boosted its position in 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 worth $107,000 after buying an additional 396 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mycio Wealth Partners LLC boosted its position in 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 worth $110,000 after buying an additional 625 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 83.54% 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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