Discover Financial Services First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, March 21, 2012. Discover Financial Services is a credit card issuer in the United States and an electronic payment services company.

Discover Financial Services Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 88 cents per share, a rise of 4.8% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 85 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has risen from 87 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 16% compared to last year’s $3.41.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 4 cents, reporting net income of 95 cents per share against a mean estimate of profit of 91 cents per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.8 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 4% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $7.33 billion for the year, a rise of 3.8% from last year’s revenue of $7.06 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are high on the stock, with 13 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and four rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit rose 46.6% to $512.6 million (95 cents a share) from $349.6 million (64 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 9.9% to $2.17 billion from $1.97 billion.

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 2.4% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year from the year earlier, climbed 2.5% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter and 0.5% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year.

Stock Price Performance: Between December 16, 2011 and March 15, 2012, the stock price rose $7.89 (32.7%), from $24.13 to $32.02. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between January 6, 2012 and January 17, 2012, when shares rose for seven straight days, increasing 11.1% (+$2.70) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between September 26, 2011 and October 3, 2011 when shares fell for six straight days, dropping 14.5% (-$3.74) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com