Discover Financial Q1 Earnings Highlights: Revenue Beat, Charge-Offs Rise, Merger Update And More

Zinger Key Points
  • Discover Financial reported first-quarter revenue of $4.21 billion, net of interest expense, which was up 13% year-over-year.
  • The company saw higher charge-off rates in the first quarter.

Banking and credit card company Discover Financial Services DFS reported first-quarter financial results after market close Wednesday.

Here are the key highlights.

What Happened: Discover Financial reported first-quarter revenue of $4.21 billion, net of interest expense, which was up 13% year-over-year. The total beat a Street estimate of $4.07 billion, according to data from Benzinga Pro.

The company reported earnings per share of $1.10, which were down on a year-over-year basis.

Total Loans in the first quarter were $126.6 billion, which was up 12% year-over-year. Credit card loans stood at $99.5 billion at the end of the first quarter, which was up 11% year-over-year.

"Our first quarter results showed good loan growth, net interest margin expansion, and stabilizing delinquencies, while expenses were elevated due to our action to advance the resolution of our card misclassification issue," Interim CEO Michael Shepherd said.

The company reported a net charge-off rate of 4.92% in the first quarter, which was up 220 basis points from the prior year. The credit card charge net charge-off rate in the first quarter was 5.66%, which was up 265 basis points from the prior year and up 98 basis points from the most recently reported fourth quarter.

Discover said provision for credit losses of $1.5 billion increased $395 million from the prior year, which was driven by an increase of $806 million in net charge-offs.

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What's Next: Discover announced a merger with Capital One Financial Corporation COF in February, and the deal remains in the works. The potential merger would make the combined company a larger player in the banking sector and could create a larger rival to credit card leaders Visa Inc and Mastercard.

Several members of Congress have spoken out to block the proposed merger or to call for a rigorous look into the potential anticompetitive nature of the deal.

"We look forward to our merger with Capital One, which will create a leading banking and payments organization, grounded on commitment to an outstanding customer experience and the communities we serve," Shepherd said Wednesday.

DFS Price Action: Discover Financial shares trade at $120.01 versus a 52-week trading range of $79.04 to $131.65.

Read Next: America’s Credit Card Slump: Delinquencies Reach 12-Year High As Issuers Lower Credit Limits

Photo: Shutterstock

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