Parsec Financial Management Inc. grew its stake in Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) by 31.5% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 92,467 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 22,145 shares during the period. Parsec Financial Management Inc.’s holdings in Discover Financial Services were worth $6,580,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of DFS. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Discover Financial Services in the fourth quarter worth about $162,561,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 5,727.1% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 2,230,742 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $38,000 after acquiring an additional 2,192,460 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Discover Financial Services by 15.4% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 3,765,063 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $222,063,000 after acquiring an additional 502,539 shares during the period. MERIAN GLOBAL INVESTORS UK Ltd bought a new position in shares of Discover Financial Services in the fourth quarter worth about $28,197,000. Finally, Squarepoint Ops LLC bought a new position in shares of Discover Financial Services in the fourth quarter worth about $23,743,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 87.32% of the company’s stock.
Shares of NYSE:DFS traded up $2.45 during trading on Friday, hitting $79.98. The company had a trading volume of 1,180,808 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,060,440. The firm has a market capitalization of $25.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.27, a PEG ratio of 1.12 and a beta of 1.60. Discover Financial Services has a one year low of $54.36 and a one year high of $80.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.58, a current ratio of 1.44 and a quick ratio of 1.44.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 6th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 24th will be paid a $0.40 dividend. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.00%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 23rd. Discover Financial Services’s payout ratio is 20.54%.
In other news, insider David W. Nelms sold 60,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.94, for a total value of $4,076,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 1,060,191 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $72,029,376.54. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Carlos Minetti sold 7,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.59, for a total value of $506,925.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 131,598 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,894,708.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 117,062 shares of company stock valued at $8,124,691 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.81% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Discover Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, March 27th. Compass Point set a $74.00 price target on Discover Financial Services and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, January 25th. ValuEngine raised Discover Financial Services from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, March 15th. Oppenheimer set a $79.00 price target on Discover Financial Services and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets dropped their price target on Discover Financial Services to $85.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, January 25th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $81.07.
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Discover Financial Services Profile
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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