The Vanguard Group, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Financial company by 1.31% to 34.73 million shares with purchase of 0.45 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 13.26% valued currently at $3.89 billion. In addition, Capital Research & Management Co raised its holdings by 1.23 million to 18.92 million shares. And Geode Capital Management LLC has lifted its position by 0.90% or 50588.0 shares – to 5.66 million shares.
With over 3.12 million Discover Financial Services (DFS) shares trading Friday and a closing price of $102.14 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $318.39 million. The shares have shown a positive half year performance of 1.08% and its price on 03/10/23 lost nearly -3.31%. Currently, there are 271.00M common shares owned by the public and among those 260.15M shares have been available to trade.
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An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 23 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for DFS have a consensus price objective of $117.78. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $132.00 and a low of $104.00. The average price target is 12.81% above its recent price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock gain 1.79% over that period. But an upside of 22.62% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while median target price for the stock is $119.00.
Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 43 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 21 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 245,761 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 22 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 176,720 shares.
The top 3 mutual fund holders in Discover Financial Services are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Washington Mutual Investors Fund, and Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 8.37 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $937.21 million. The company bought an additional 63268.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 3.20% of the shares outstanding. Washington Mutual Investors Fund sold -2.31 million shares to see its total holdings shrink to 6.6 million shares valued at over $739.51 million and representing 2.52% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund bought 10238.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 6.37 million shares at a value of $713.85 million. Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.43% of the shares outstanding.
Shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) opened at $104.00, down -$1.64 from a prior closing price of $105.64. However, the script later moved the day high at 104.58, down -3.31%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -11.00% and -1.54% over the past three months. DFS shares are trading 4.41% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -4.54% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $87.64 and touched a high of $121.17 over the same period. DFS has an average intraday trading volume of 2.40 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -9.04%, -6.86%, and -1.18% respectively.
Institutional ownership of Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) shares accounts for 85.00% of the company’s 271.00M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 34.21%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 53.42% and 1.45% respectively.
It has a market capitalization of $27.67B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.46. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 6.61, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $15.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio at 1.49. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 3.30% over the week and 2.28% over the month.
Analysts forecast that Discover Financial Services (DFS) will achieve an EPS of $3.99 for the current quarter, $3.55 for the next quarter and $14.27 for 2024. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $2.83 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $4.73. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $4.22 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -13.20%, and 4.51% over the next financial year.
If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 23 brokerage firm advisors rate Discover Financial Services (DFS) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.50. Specifically, 10 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 12 of the 23 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”
Looking at the support for the DFS, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Morgan Stanley stated their Equal-Weight rating for the stock in a research note on February 08, 2023, with the firm’s price target at $96. Barclays coverage for the Discover Financial Services (DFS) stock in a research note released on January 06, 2023 offered a Equal Weight rating with a price target of $120. BofA Securities was of a view on December 13, 2022 that the stock is Underperform, while UBS gave the stock Neutral rating on November 21, 2022, issuing a price target of $120. Morgan Stanley on their part issued Overweight rating on October 26, 2022.
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