Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Discover Financial’s shares have underperformed the industry in last one year. Its weak Payment Service segment continues to hurt profitability. It has also been incurring expenses in order to compete with other credit card issuers, attract and retain customers, and increase card usage from past many quarters. The company has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 and 2018 earnings being revised downward over the last 30 days.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on DFS. Barclays PLC restated an “equal weight” rating and set a $70.00 target price (down from $79.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $69.00 target price on Discover Financial Services and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. BidaskClub upgraded Discover Financial Services from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, June 10th. ValuEngine cut Discover Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, September 11th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation cut Discover Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $67.00 to $63.00 in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Discover Financial Services has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $73.95.

Discover Financial Services (DFS) opened at 64.06 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $59.72 and its 200-day moving average price is $62.41. The company has a market capitalization of $23.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.05 and a beta of 1.45. Discover Financial Services has a 12 month low of $53.91 and a 12 month high of $74.33.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.40 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.45 by ($0.05). The company had revenue of $2.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.40 billion. Discover Financial Services had a net margin of 20.91% and a return on equity of 21.28%. The company’s revenue was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.47 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that Discover Financial Services will post $5.92 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Discover Financial Services declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to repurchase $2.23 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to buy up to 9.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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In related news, CEO David W. Nelms sold 30,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.10, for a total transaction of $1,773,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,529,912 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $90,417,799.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Carlos Minetti sold 8,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.42, for a total value of $499,360.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 205,149 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,805,400.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 157,002 shares of company stock valued at $9,580,337 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.96% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. GM Advisory Group Inc. increased its position in Discover Financial Services by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. GM Advisory Group Inc. now owns 5,304 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $330,000 after buying an additional 17 shares in the last quarter. South State Corp increased its position in Discover Financial Services by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. South State Corp now owns 3,457 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $215,000 after buying an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Partners LLC increased its position in Discover Financial Services by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 7,159 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $445,000 after buying an additional 27 shares in the last quarter. First Bank & Trust increased its position in Discover Financial Services by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. First Bank & Trust now owns 3,135 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $195,000 after buying an additional 42 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Perigon Wealth Management LLC increased its position in Discover Financial Services by 2.3% during the 1st quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,146 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 48 shares in the last quarter. 85.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)

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