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 Monday.

According to Zacks, “Discover Financial shares have outperformed the Zacks categorized Consumer Loan industry in a year's time. The company remains well positioned for growth given its strength in credit card business. The U.S. consumer finance industry remains healthy amid a declining unemployment and improving housing sector. The rising rate environment further creates optimism. Discover Financial, with strong brand recognition, product innovation and customer acquisition strategies, will continue to benefit from the broader favorable trends.  Management anticipates total loan portfolio which comprises credit card loans, personal loans and private student loans to grow in the range of 4–6% for 2016. However, stiff competition, lawsuit damages and regulatory challenges as well as weakness in the Payment Services segment and escalating expenses remain headwinds.”

A number of other analysts also recently commented on the company. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research report on Friday, October 28th. Deutsche Bank AG set a $65.00 price objective on Discover Financial Services and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 5th. Wedbush initiated coverage on Discover Financial Services in a report on Monday, October 10th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $63.00 price objective for the company. Stephens initiated coverage on Discover Financial Services in a report on Friday, November 18th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $62.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Guggenheim reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Discover Financial Services in a report on Sunday, December 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, nineteen have assigned a buy rating and three have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $66.78.

Analyst Recommendations for Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) opened at 69.90 on Monday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $71.37 and a 200 day moving average price of $61.24. Discover Financial Services has a one year low of $42.86 and a one year high of $74.33. The firm has a market capitalization of $27.57 billion, a PE ratio of 12.72 and a beta of 1.47.

WARNING: “Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Discover Financial Services (DFS) to Hold” was originally posted by Financial Market News and is the sole property of of Financial Market News. If you are viewing this article on another website, it was stolen and reposted in violation of US and international copyright & trademark law. The original version of this article can be viewed at http://www.financial-market-news.com/zacks-investment-research-downgrades-discover-financial-services-dfs-to-hold/1266602/.

In other news, CFO R. Mark Graf sold 25,032 shares of Discover Financial Services stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.78, for a total value of $1,421,316.96. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 116,052 shares in the company, valued at $6,589,432.56. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Kathryn Mcnamara Corley sold 15,000 shares of Discover Financial Services stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.30, for a total value of $844,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 156,476 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,809,598.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.07% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Quadrant Capital Group LLC increased its position in Discover Financial Services by 0.3% in the second quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 4,255 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $224,000 after buying an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. MSI Financial Services Inc increased its position in Discover Financial Services by 0.4% in the third quarter. MSI Financial Services Inc now owns 10,530 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $595,000 after buying an additional 39 shares in the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank increased its position in Discover Financial Services by 1.2% in the third quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 3,809 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $215,000 after buying an additional 44 shares in the last quarter. Pitcairn Co. increased its position in Discover Financial Services by 1.0% in the second quarter. Pitcairn Co. now owns 5,216 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $280,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Duncker Streett & Co. Inc. increased its position in Discover Financial Services by 0.3% in the third quarter. Duncker Streett & Co. Inc. now owns 18,272 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,033,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.24% of the company’s stock.

Discover Financial Services Company Profile

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, which includes consumer banking and lending products, specifically Discover-branded credit cards issued to individuals and small businesses on the Discover Network and other consumer banking products and services, including personal loans, home equity loans, and other consumer lending and deposit products, and Payment Services segment, which includes PULSE and its Network Partners business.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:DFS

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Discover Financial Services (DFS)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Receive News & Ratings for Discover Financial Services Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Discover Financial Services and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.