State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D trimmed its holdings in Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) by 29.6% in the 3rd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 209,500 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 88,000 shares during the quarter. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D’s holdings in Discover Financial Services were worth $16,016,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of DFS. LPL Financial LLC grew its position in Discover Financial Services by 24.3% in the first quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 55,905 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,021,000 after acquiring an additional 10,920 shares during the period. Private Capital Group LLC boosted its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 8,258.3% during the first quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 2,006 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $144,000 after buying an additional 1,982 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust Group LLC boosted its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 2.9% during the first quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 28,617 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,059,000 after buying an additional 809 shares during the period. CIBC World Markets Inc. boosted its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 326.5% during the first quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 26,526 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,908,000 after buying an additional 20,307 shares during the period. Finally, Summit Trail Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Discover Financial Services by 4,597.4% during the first quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 264,466 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $264,000 after buying an additional 258,836 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 85.76% of the company’s stock.
In other news, EVP Carlos Minetti sold 3,750 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.60, for a total value of $268,500.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 137,602 shares in the company, valued at $9,852,303.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO David W. Nelms sold 30,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.11, for a total value of $2,343,300.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,210,798 shares in the company, valued at $94,575,431.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 101,250 shares of company stock worth $7,663,313. Insiders own 0.81% of the company’s stock.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $1.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.88 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $2.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.63 billion. Discover Financial Services had a return on equity of 24.25% and a net margin of 19.07%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.40 earnings per share. As a group, analysts anticipate that Discover Financial Services will post 7.83 earnings per share for the current year.
Discover Financial Services announced that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Thursday, July 19th that allows the company to repurchase $3.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to purchase up to 11.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 6th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 21st will be paid a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.10%. Discover Financial Services’s payout ratio is currently 26.76%.
Several research firms have recently commented on DFS. Zacks Investment Research lowered Discover Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on Discover Financial Services from $78.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Sandler O’Neill restated a “buy” rating and set a $87.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Finally, Bank of America raised their price target on Discover Financial Services from $86.00 to $92.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 21st. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fourteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Discover Financial Services has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $86.76.
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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