Zacks: Analysts Expect Discover Financial Services (DFS) Will Post Quarterly Sales of $2.74 Billion

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Equities analysts forecast that Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) will post sales of $2.74 billion for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Five analysts have issued estimates for Discover Financial Services’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $2.69 billion to $2.77 billion. Discover Financial Services reported sales of $2.58 billion in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 6.2%. The company is scheduled to announce its next earnings report on Thursday, April 25th.

On average, analysts expect that Discover Financial Services will report full-year sales of $11.36 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $11.24 billion to $11.42 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the business will report sales of $12.02 billion, with estimates ranging from $11.80 billion to $12.30 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that cover Discover Financial Services.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The financial services provider reported $2.03 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.09 by ($0.06). Discover Financial Services had a return on equity of 26.22% and a net margin of 21.25%. The business had revenue of $2.81 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.81 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.51 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several brokerages have commented on DFS. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Discover Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, January 25th. ValuEngine cut shares of Discover Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 1st. Compass Point set a $74.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, January 25th. Citigroup cut their price target on shares of Discover Financial Services from $78.00 to $75.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, November 1st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets cut their price target on shares of Discover Financial Services to $85.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, January 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $81.57.

NYSE:DFS traded up $0.25 on Friday, hitting $71.46. 1,351,592 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,337,958. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.58, a current ratio of 1.44 and a quick ratio of 1.48. Discover Financial Services has a 52 week low of $54.36 and a 52 week high of $81.34. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.38 billion, a PE ratio of 9.17, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.94 and a beta of 1.60.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 21st will be issued a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 20th. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.24%. Discover Financial Services’s payout ratio is 20.54%.

In other news, EVP Carlos Minetti sold 3,750 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.98, for a total value of $269,925.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 122,602 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,824,891.96. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Roger C. Hochschild bought 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 28th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $66.67 per share, for a total transaction of $2,000,100.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief executive officer now owns 834,457 shares in the company, valued at approximately $55,633,248.19. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 114,012 shares of company stock worth $7,893,863. 0.81% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Buckley Wealth Management LLC raised its holdings in Discover Financial Services by 5.7% in the 4th quarter. Buckley Wealth Management LLC now owns 4,978 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $294,000 after acquiring an additional 270 shares during the period. Stanley Laman Group Ltd. raised its holdings in Discover Financial Services by 2.7% in the 4th quarter. Stanley Laman Group Ltd. now owns 10,447 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $616,000 after acquiring an additional 271 shares during the period. Markston International LLC raised its holdings in Discover Financial Services by 0.6% in the 4th quarter. Markston International LLC now owns 52,239 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,081,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares during the period. Hanson McClain Inc. raised its holdings in Discover Financial Services by 78.5% in the 4th quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 682 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $40,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares during the period. Finally, Financial Advocates Investment Management raised its holdings in Discover Financial Services by 36.1% in the 4th quarter. Financial Advocates Investment Management now owns 1,130 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $198,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares during the period. 84.42% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Discover Financial Services

Discover Financial Services, through its subsidiaries, operates as a direct banking and payment services company in the United States. The Direct Banking segment offers Discover-branded credit cards to individuals; and other consumer products and services, including private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, and other consumer lending, as well as deposit products, such as certificates of deposit, money market accounts, savings accounts, checking accounts, and individual retirement arrangement certificates of deposit.

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