Discover Financial Services (DFS): Today's Featured Financial 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 sector higher today making it today's featured financial winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Discover Financial Services rose $0.91 (1.9%) to $48.32 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,978,769 shares of Discover Financial Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,832,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $47.34-$48.35 after having opened the day at $47.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.41. Other companies within the Financial sector that increased today were: American Safety Insurance Holdings ( ASI), up 20.7%, First Defiance Financial Corporation ( FDEF), up 7.9%, First Marblehead Corporation ( FMD), up 7.6% and Ohio Valley Banc Corporation ( OVBC), up 7.6%.
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Discover Financial Services, a bank holding company, provides 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 $23.6 billion and is part of the financial services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 23.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Discover Financial Services a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 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 revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front, National Bank of Greece ( NBG), down 15.2%, Atlanticus Holdings ( ATLC), down 13.0%, Power REIT ( PW), down 9.5% and Marine Petroleum ( MARPS), down 8.3% , were all laggards within the financial sector with ACE ( ACE) being today's financial sector laggard.

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

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