Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) saw a significant growth in short interest in the month of March. As of March 15th, there was short interest totalling 2,960,000 shares, a growth of 6.9% from the February 29th total of 2,770,000 shares. Approximately 1.2% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 2,390,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.2 days.

Analyst Ratings Changes

DFS has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Evercore ISI increased their price target on Discover Financial Services from $117.00 to $140.00 and gave the company an “in-line” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “sector perform” rating and issued a $140.00 price target (up from $117.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research report on Wednesday, February 21st. Wolfe Research reissued a “peer perform” rating on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research report on Wednesday, February 21st. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft reduced their price objective on Discover Financial Services from $140.00 to $111.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, January 19th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reduced their price objective on Discover Financial Services from $116.00 to $104.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, January 22nd. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, Discover Financial Services currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $124.18.

Get Our Latest Report on DFS

Insider Transactions at Discover Financial Services

In related news, CFO John Greene sold 35,191 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, January 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.51, for a total value of $3,748,193.41. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 18,592 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,980,233.92. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. 0.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Flputnam Investment Management Co. boosted its stake in Discover Financial Services by 7.9% in the 3rd quarter. Flputnam Investment Management Co. now owns 2,646 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $229,000 after purchasing an additional 193 shares during the period. Vest Financial LLC raised its holdings in shares of Discover Financial Services by 18.8% in the 4th quarter. Vest Financial LLC now owns 121,753 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $13,685,000 after acquiring an additional 19,283 shares in the last quarter. Raymond James & Associates raised its holdings in shares of Discover Financial Services by 27.1% in the 4th quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 339,717 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $38,184,000 after acquiring an additional 72,452 shares in the last quarter. Cambridge Financial Group Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Discover Financial Services in the 3rd quarter valued at about $4,697,000. Finally, Assenagon Asset Management S.A. raised its holdings in shares of Discover Financial Services by 7.6% in the 4th quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 493,254 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $55,442,000 after acquiring an additional 34,899 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 86.94% of the company’s stock.

Discover Financial Services Stock Performance

Shares of DFS stock traded down $0.53 on Wednesday, hitting $127.28. 336,725 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,431,181. The company has a current ratio of 1.13, a quick ratio of 1.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.49. The firm has a market capitalization of $31.89 billion, a PE ratio of 11.31, a P/E/G ratio of 1.39 and a beta of 1.45. Discover Financial Services has a one year low of $79.04 and a one year high of $131.65. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $117.53 and its two-hundred day moving average is $102.87.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFSGet Free Report) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The financial services provider reported $1.54 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.50 by ($0.96). Discover Financial Services had a return on equity of 22.24% and a net margin of 14.30%. The company had revenue of $4.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.10 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $3.77 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts expect that Discover Financial Services will post 11.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Discover Financial Services Announces Dividend

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 22nd were paid a $0.70 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, February 21st. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.20%. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.89%.

Discover Financial Services Company Profile

(Get Free Report)

Discover Financial Services, through its subsidiaries, provides digital banking products and services, and payment services in the United States. It operates in two segments, Digital Banking and Payment Services. The Digital Banking segment offers Discover-branded credit cards to individuals; private student loans, personal loans, home loans, and other consumer lending; and direct-to-consumer deposit products comprising savings accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, IRA certificates of deposit, IRA savings accounts and checking accounts, and sweep accounts.

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