Discover Financial Services (DFS): Today's Featured Financial Services Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Discover Financial Services ( DFS) pushed the Financial Services industry higher today making it today's featured financial services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, Discover Financial Services rose 46 cents (1.2%) to $38.62 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5.1 million shares of Discover Financial Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $38.30-$38.98 after having opened the day at $38.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.16. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that increased today were: Consumer Portfolio Services ( CPSS), up 14.3%, Ampal-American Israel Corporation ( AMPL), up 10.7%, FBR ( FBRC), up 9.2%, and Value Line ( VALU), up 7.9%.
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Discover Financial Services, a bank holding company, offers direct banking and payment services in the United States. It operates in two segments, Direct Banking and Payment Services. Discover Financial Services has a market cap of $19.83 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.9, equal to the average financial services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 60.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Discover Financial Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Discover Financial Services as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front, Siebert Financial Corporation ( SIEB), down 11.8%, Penson Worldwide ( PNSN), down 11.7%, Pzena Investment Management ( PZN), down 11.6%, and SGOCO Group ( SGOC), down 9.9%, were all laggards within the financial services industry with Capital One Financial ( COF) being today's financial services industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial services industry could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial services industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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