Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, January 3rd.

According to Zacks, “In the last six months, Discover Financial’s shares have outperformed the industry. The company is well poised for long-term growth on the back of consistent rise in revenues. Its strong Direct Banking business has significantly supported the top line. The company’s card sales have been soaring over past many years. Its efficient capital management also impresses. However, it has been incurring considerable expenses in order to compete with other credit card issuers, attract and retain customers, and increase card usage. The rising expenses have been severely weighing on the company’s margins. Its Payments Service segment has been a drag over the past few years despite management’s several corrective efforts. The company will release fourth quarter results after market closes on Jan 24, 2017.”

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on DFS. Deutsche Bank started coverage on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. They set a “buy” rating and a $92.00 price objective for the company. Bank of America raised shares of Discover Financial Services from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $83.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, December 18th. Barclays raised shares of Discover Financial Services from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $73.00 to $93.00 in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Wedbush set a $80.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Discover Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, eighteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $85.52.

Shares of Discover Financial Services (DFS) opened at $81.20 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $29,426.56, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.03, a P/E/G ratio of 1.35 and a beta of 1.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.52, a current ratio of 1.08 and a quick ratio of 1.55. Discover Financial Services has a 12-month low of $57.50 and a 12-month high of $81.93.

In related news, CEO David W. Nelms sold 30,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.80, for a total value of $2,004,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Kathryn Mcnamara Corley sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.81, for a total transaction of $307,240.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 134,744 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,349,686.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 204,774 shares of company stock worth $14,936,480. Insiders own 0.96% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Grove Bank & Trust grew its position in Discover Financial Services by 2,483.3% in the third quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 1,550 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $100,000 after acquiring an additional 1,490 shares in the last quarter. Rational Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Discover Financial Services in the third quarter valued at approximately $123,000. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Discover Financial Services in the third quarter valued at approximately $140,000. Capstone Investment Advisors Netherlands B.V. acquired a new stake in Discover Financial Services in the second quarter valued at approximately $157,000. Finally, Arbor Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Discover Financial Services in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $203,000. 84.59% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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.

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