Discover Financial Services (DFS) Position Lessened by Axa

Axa lessened its holdings in Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) by 58.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 180,200 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 254,491 shares during the period. Axa’s holdings in Discover Financial Services were worth $11,207,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Annex Advisory Services LLC raised its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 23.9% in the second quarter. Annex Advisory Services LLC now owns 15,686 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $975,000 after buying an additional 3,027 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia raised its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 171.5% in the first quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 88,397 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,045,000 after buying an additional 55,840 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 6.5% in the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 921,150 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $57,286,000 after buying an additional 56,046 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 3.2% in the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 8,406 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $575,000 after buying an additional 264 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Quantitative Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Discover Financial Services in the first quarter worth $868,000. Institutional investors own 86.21% of the company’s stock.

In other Discover Financial Services news, COO Roger C. Hochschild sold 15,258 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.48, for a total value of $953,319.84. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 830,257 shares in the company, valued at approximately $51,874,457.36. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO David W. Nelms sold 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.10, for a total transaction of $1,773,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,529,912 shares in the company, valued at $90,417,799.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 157,002 shares of company stock worth $9,580,337 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.96% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) opened at 58.19 on Tuesday. Discover Financial Services has a one year low of $53.91 and a one year high of $74.33. The stock has a market capitalization of $21.67 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.04 and a beta of 1.45. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $60.21 and a 200 day moving average of $62.97.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.45 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $2.42 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.40 billion. Discover Financial Services had a return on equity of 21.28% and a net margin of 20.91%. Discover Financial Services’s revenue was up 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. 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 year.

Discover Financial Services declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to buyback $2.23 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to purchase up to 9.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 24th were paid a $0.35 dividend. This is an increase from Discover Financial Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.41%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 22nd. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.18%.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on DFS. BidaskClub upgraded Discover Financial Services from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $82.00 target price on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Tuesday, May 16th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $69.00 target price on Discover Financial Services and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Barclays PLC reissued an “equal weight” rating and issued a $70.00 target price (down previously from $79.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Discover Financial Services from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $73.95.

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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 and Payment Services. It provides direct banking products and services, and payment services through its subsidiaries.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)

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