Background: Discover operates the Discover Card and merchant services. Discover trades an average of four million shares per day with a market cap of $20 billion.
52-Week Range: $21.44 - $39.64Discover is anticipated to report much lower third-quarter earnings before the market opens on Thursday. The consensus estimate is currently $1.03 a share, falling 15 cents (12.7%) from $1.18 during the same period last year. Before the previous Discover earnings release on June 19 the closing price was $33.57. Since the last earnings release the shares are up 13.7%. Although Discover is expected to report lower earnings per share, 13 (70%+) analysts rate Discover a buy or strong buy out of 17 analysts. The company has four holds, and not one sell rating. Twelve out of 17 analysts now rate Discover a strong buy, down from 13 analysts a month ago. Compared to three months ago, fewer analysts are rating this company as a strong buy. The average analyst target price for Discover is $40.14. Based on technical analysis, Discover looks like it just received a letter in the mail that its credit line was increased along with a one-year free interest balance transfer offer. The moving averages are moving in lockstep higher. The price is on a picture-perfect rising slope with no payment due date in sight. Trend followers look for this type of pattern and will ride a position until a technical break results in a signal to exit. The mean fiscal year estimate price-to-earnings ratio is 9.2, based on earnings of $4.23 per share this year. Can you say cheap? The shares of Discover are dirt cheap, and unless it really blows an already weak estimate, plan on the company's shares continuing higher. The company currently pays 40 cents per share in dividends for a yield of 1.03%. Looking back at the three-year history of declared dividends, this company has paid on average 13 cents per share each year in dividend payments. Short interest is only 1.1%.
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