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Why Is Discover Financial (DFS) Down 7.4% Since the Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Discover Financial Services (DFS - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 7.4% in that time frame, underperforming the market.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to the stock's next earnings release, or is it due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Discover Financial’s Q2 Earnings Miss Expectations

Discover Financial's second-quarter 2017 earnings of $1.40 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.4%. The bottom line also declined 4.8% year over year.

For the reported quarter, the company’s revenue net of interest expenses increased 9.2% year over year to $2.4 billion. The top line also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 32%.

Operational Update

For the reported quarter, total loans increased 8% from the prior-year quarter to $78 billion.

Credit card loans jumped 8% to $61.8 billion and Discover card sales volume increased 5% from the prior year.

Consumer deposits grew 11% from the year-ago quarter to $37.7 billion.

Payment Services transaction dollar volume was $50.1 billion, up 12% year over year.

Net interest income grew almost 10.7% year over year to $1.9 billion. The upside may be attributed to increased interest income.

Interest expenses of $400 million jumped 18%, mainly due to change in funding mix and higher market rates.

Total other expenses increased 0.7% to $912 million due to higher employee compensation and benefits, and professional fees.

Segment Update
Direct Banking Segment

This segment’s pre-tax income declined 4% to $831 million. This was because of higher provision for loan losses.

Total loans increased 8% year over year to $78 billion. Credit card loans rose 8% to $61.8 billion.  Personal loans increased 22%, Private student loans increased 2% and jumped 12% excluding purchased student loans, all on a year-over-year basis.

Other income increased 3% from the prior year, driven by higher discount and interchange revenues.

Net interest income increased 11% from the prior year, driven by loan growth and a higher net interest margin. Net interest margin was 10.11%, up 16 basis points from the prior year.

Provision for loan losses of $639 million increased 55% from the prior year primarily because of higher net charge-offs.

Payment Services Segment

Payment Services pretax income was $36 million in the quarter, up 20% from the prior year, primarily driven by higher transaction processing revenues and lower operating expenses.

Payment Services transaction dollar volume was $50.1 billion, up 12% from the prior year.

PULSE transaction dollar volume went up 15% year over year.

Diners Club International volume rose 8% from the prior year, driven by growth across all regions.

Financial Position

Discover Financial had total assets worth $93.7 billion as of Jun 30, 2017, up 7.1% year over year.

Total liabilities as of Jun 30, 2017 were $82.5 billion, up 8.4% year over year.

Total equity was $11.2 billion on Jun 30, 2017, down 1.2% year over year.

Discover Financial’s return on equity for the second quarter was 19%.

Share Repurchase Update

During the second quarter, the company repurchased approximately 7.2 million shares of common stock for $450 million.

Shares of common stock outstanding declined 1.9% from the prior quarter.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

Analysts were quiet during the past month as none of them issued any earnings estimate revisions.

VGM Scores

At this time, the stock has a poor Growth Score of F, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. The stock was allocated a grade of A on the value side, putting it in the top 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Zacks' style scores indicate that the company's stock is solely suitable for value investors.


The stock has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We are expecting a below average return from the stock in the next few months.

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