Smith Asset Management Group LP Purchases 20,317 Shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)

Smith Asset Management Group LP boosted its position in Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) by 6.7% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 321,833 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 20,317 shares during the period. Smith Asset Management Group LP owned 0.09% of Discover Financial Services worth $20,006,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Teacher Retirement System of Texas increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 33.9% in the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 74,032 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,604,000 after buying an additional 18,744 shares in the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 18.2% in the second quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 627,529 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $38,695,000 after buying an additional 96,472 shares in the last quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 9.0% in the second quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC now owns 511,844 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $31,832,000 after buying an additional 42,102 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 104.6% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 592,293 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $36,835,000 after buying an additional 302,775 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Foundry Partners LLC increased its stake in Discover Financial Services by 3.4% in the second quarter. Foundry Partners LLC now owns 169,105 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $10,517,000 after buying an additional 5,500 shares in the last quarter. 86.76% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Discover Financial Services (DFS) opened at 59.64 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $22.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.29 and a beta of 1.46. Discover Financial Services has a 52 week low of $53.91 and a 52 week high of $74.33. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $61.28 and its 200 day moving average price is $64.52.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.40 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.45 by $0.05. The firm 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 for the quarter was up 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.47 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Discover Financial Services will post $5.93 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 7th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be given a dividend of $0.35 per share. This is a positive change from Discover Financial Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.30. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.35%. Discover Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 20.73%.

Discover Financial Services declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to buyback $2.23 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to reacquire up to 9.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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A number of analysts have issued reports on the company. BidaskClub downgraded Discover Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Discover Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $75.00 target price (down from $82.00) on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Bank of America Corporation downgraded Discover Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $67.00 to $63.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $69.00 target price on Discover Financial Services and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $74.21.

In other news, CEO David W. Nelms sold 30,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.52, for a total transaction of $1,875,600.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, COO Roger C. Hochschild sold 15,258 shares of the firm’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 owns 830,257 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $51,874,457.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 107,744 shares of company stock valued at $6,658,830. Company insiders own 0.96% of the company’s stock.

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.

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

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