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

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Discover Financial Services ( DFS) pushed the Financial Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Discover Financial Services fell $0.70 (-1.4%) to $50.18 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,252,025 shares of Discover Financial Services exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,519,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $50.16-$51.18 after having opened the day at $50.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.88. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: Paulson Capital ( PLCC), down 18.0%, CorEnergy Infrastructure ( CORR), down 11.8%, Cash Store Financial Services ( CSFS), down 5.7% and ProShares UltraShort DJ-UBS Commodity ( CMD), down 4.3%.

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 $24.4 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 30.7% 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 5 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, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the positive front, Noah Holdings ( NOAH), up 23.9%, GAIN Capital Holdings ( GCAP), up 13.2%, Encore Capital Group ( ECPG), up 10.8% and Consumer Portfolio Services ( CPSS), up 8.4%.

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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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