Discover Financial Services Reports Third Quarter Net Income of $602 Million or $1.59 Per Diluted Share

RIVERWOODS, Ill.--()--Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) today reported net income of $602 million or $1.59 per diluted share for the third quarter of 2017, as compared to $639 million or $1.56 per diluted share for the third quarter of 2016. The company’s return on equity for the third quarter of 2017 was 22%.

Third Quarter Highlights

  • Total loans grew $6.9 billion (9%) from the prior year to $80.4 billion.
  • Credit card loans grew $5.5 billion (9%) to $63.5 billion and Discover card sales volume increased 5% from the prior year.
  • Total net charge-off rate excluding PCI loans increased 61 basis points from the prior year to 2.71% and the total 30+ day delinquency rate excluding PCI loans increased 26 basis points from the prior year to 2.05%.
  • Consumer deposits grew $3.4 billion (10%) from the prior year to $38.7 billion.
  • Payment Services transaction dollar volume was $51.6 billion, up 16% from the prior year.
  • Income tax expense included one-time benefits of $28 million related to the resolution of certain tax matters.

We achieved strong growth across our businesses while maintaining our historical emphasis on disciplined underwriting and profitability,” said David Nelms, chairman and CEO of Discover. “As a result, we generated robust revenue gains and positive operating leverage while investing in technology to enhance the customer experience and drive future growth and efficiency."

Segment Results:

Direct Banking

Direct Banking pretax income of $867 million in the quarter declined $64 million (7%) from the prior year as higher provision for loan losses and operating expenses more than offset higher net interest income.

Total loans ended the quarter at $80.4 billion, up 9% compared to the prior year. Credit card loans ended the quarter at $63.5 billion, up 9% from the prior year. Personal loans increased $1.1 billion (18%) from the prior year. Private student loans increased $205 million (2%) year-over-year, and grew $711 million (11%) excluding purchased student loans.

Net interest income increased $225 million (12%) from the prior year, driven by loan growth and a higher net interest margin. Net interest margin was 10.28%, up 28 basis points from the prior year. Card yield was 12.83%, an increase of 30 basis points from the prior year because of increases in the prime rate, partially offset by higher interest charge-offs and a change in portfolio mix. Interest expense as a percent of total loans increased 17 basis points from the prior year, primarily because of higher market rates and a change in funding mix.

Other income decreased $7 million (2%) from the prior year, driven by higher rewards expense.

The delinquency rate for credit card loans over 30 days past due was 2.14%, up 27 basis points from the prior year and 14 basis points from the prior quarter. The credit card net charge-off rate for the third quarter was 2.80%, up 63 basis points from the prior year and down 14 basis points from the prior quarter. The student loan net charge-off rate excluding purchased credit-impaired ("PCI") loans was 1.52%, up 50 basis points from the prior year. The personal loans net charge-off rate of 3.19% increased by 56 basis points from the prior year. Net charge-off rates were generally higher because of supply-driven credit normalization and the seasoning of loan growth from the last few years.

Provision for loan losses of $675 million increased $230 million from the prior year due to higher net charge-offs and a larger reserve build. The reserve build for the third quarter of 2017 was $148 million, compared to a reserve build of $75 million in the third quarter of 2016.

Expenses increased $52 million from the prior year as a result of higher employee compensation and professional fees. Employee compensation increased as a result of higher staffing levels and higher average salaries. The increase in professional fees is primarily due to investments in technology and analytic capabilities.

Payment Services

Payment Services pretax income was $36 million in the quarter, up $6 million from the prior year, primarily driven by higher transaction processing and interchange revenue.

Payment Services transaction dollar volume was $51.6 billion, up 16% versus the prior year. PULSE transaction dollar volume was up 17% year-over-year. Diners Club volume increased 9% year-over-year driven by continued strength of newer franchise relationships. Network Partners volume increased 15% from the prior year driven by AribaPay.

Share Repurchases

During the third quarter of 2017, the company repurchased approximately 9.2 million shares of common stock for $555 million. Shares of common stock outstanding declined by 2.4% from the prior quarter.

Conference Call and Webcast Information

The company will host a conference call to discuss its third quarter results on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. Central time. Interested parties can listen to the conference call via a live audio webcast at https://investorrelations.discover.com.

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit through its direct banking business. It operates the Discover Network, with millions of retail and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit www.discover.com/company.

A financial summary follows. Financial, statistical, and business related information, as well as information regarding business and segment trends, is included in the financial supplement filed as Exhibit 99.2 to the company's Current Report on Form 8-K filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Both the earnings release and the financial supplement are available online at the SEC's website (http://www.sec.gov) and the company's website (https://investorrelations.discover.com).

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements, which speak to our expected business and financial performance, among other matters, contain words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “aim,” “will,” “may,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “likely,” and similar expressions. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and there is no undertaking to update or revise them as more information becomes available.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: changes in economic variables, such as the availability of consumer credit, the housing market, energy costs, the number and size of personal bankruptcy filings, the rate of unemployment, the levels of consumer confidence and consumer debt, and investor sentiment; the impact of current, pending and future legislation, regulation, supervisory guidance, and regulatory and legal actions, including, but not limited to, those related to financial regulatory reform, consumer financial services practices, anti-corruption, and funding, capital and liquidity; the actions and initiatives of current and potential competitors; the company's ability to manage its expenses; the company's ability to successfully achieve card acceptance across its networks and maintain relationships with network participants; the company's ability to sustain and grow its non-card products; difficulty obtaining regulatory approval for, financing, closing, transitioning, integrating or managing the expenses of acquisitions of or investments in new businesses, products or technologies; the company's ability to manage its credit risk, market risk, liquidity risk, operational risk, compliance and legal risk, and strategic risk; the availability and cost of funding and capital; access to deposit, securitization, equity, debt and credit markets; the impact of rating agency actions; the level and volatility of equity prices, commodity prices and interest rates, currency values, investments, other market fluctuations and other market indices; losses in the company's investment portfolio; limits on the company's ability to pay dividends and repurchase its common stock; limits on the company's ability to receive payments from its subsidiaries; fraudulent activities or material security breaches of key systems; the company's ability to remain organizationally effective; the company's ability to increase or sustain Discover card usage or attract new customers; the company's ability to maintain relationships with merchants; the effect of political, economic and market conditions, geopolitical events and unforeseen or catastrophic events; the company's ability to introduce new products or services; the company's ability to manage its relationships with third-party vendors; the company's ability to maintain current technology and integrate new and acquired systems; the company's ability to collect amounts for disputed transactions from merchants and merchant acquirers; the company's ability to attract and retain employees; the company's ability to protect its reputation and its intellectual property; and new lawsuits, investigations or similar matters or unanticipated developments related to current matters. The company routinely evaluates and may pursue acquisitions of or investments in businesses, products, technologies, loan portfolios or deposits, which may involve payment in cash or the company's debt or equity securities.

Additional factors that could cause the company's results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found under “Risk Factors,” “Business - Competition,” “Business - Supervision and Regulation” and “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, and "Management's Discussion & Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in the company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2017, which are filed with the SEC and available at the SEC's internet site (http://www.sec.gov).

     
DISCOVER FINANCIAL SERVICES
(unaudited, in millions, except per share statistics)
Quarter Ended
September 30, June 30, September 30,
2017 2017 2016

EARNINGS SUMMARY

Interest Income $2,476 $2,338 $2,184
Interest Expense 426 400 359
Net Interest Income 2,050 1,938 1,825
 
Discount/Interchange Revenue 675 666 631
Rewards Cost 417 388 368
Discount and Interchange Revenue, net 258 278 263
Protection Products Revenue 55 56 60
Loan Fee Income 95 83 91
Transaction Processing Revenue 43 42 40
Other Income 24 22 22
Total Other Income 475 481 476
 
Revenue Net of Interest Expense 2,525 2,419 2,301
 
Provision for Loan Losses 674 640 445
 
Employee Compensation and Benefits 371 367 342
Marketing and Business Development 203 192 195
Information Processing & Communications 78 77 81
Professional Fees 163 156 143
Premises and Equipment 25 23 25
Other Expense 108 97 109
Total Other Expense 948 912 895
     
Income Before Income Taxes 903 867 961
Tax Expense 301 321 322
Net Income $602 $546 $639
 
Net Income Allocated to Common Stockholders $589 $532 $625
 
 

PER SHARE STATISTICS

Basic EPS $1.59 $1.41 $1.56
Diluted EPS $1.59 $1.40 $1.56
Common Stock Price (period end) $64.48 $62.19 $56.55
Book Value per share $30.56 $30.01 $28.62
 

SEGMENT- INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES

Direct Banking $867 $831 $931
Payment Services 36 36 30
Total $903 $867 $961
 

BALANCE SHEET SUMMARY

Total Assets $97,608 $93,757 $90,541
Total Liabilities 86,421 82,498 79,194
Total Equity 11,187 11,259 11,347
Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity $97,608 $93,757 $90,541
 

TOTAL LOAN RECEIVABLES

Ending Loans 1, 2 $80,443 $77,997 $73,551
Average Loans 1, 2 $79,189 $76,854 $72,668
 
Interest Yield 12.15% 11.98% 11.82%
Gross Principal Charge-off Rate 3.26% 3.36% 2.66%
Gross Principal Charge-off Rate excluding PCI Loans 3 3.35% 3.47% 2.77%
Net Principal Charge-off Rate 2.63% 2.71% 2.02%
Net Principal Charge-off Rate excluding PCI Loans 3 2.71% 2.79% 2.10%
Delinquency Rate (over 30 days) excluding PCI Loans 3 2.05% 1.93% 1.79%
Delinquency Rate (over 90 days) excluding PCI Loans 3 0.91% 0.88% 0.77%
Gross Principal Charge-off Dollars $651 $645 $488
Net Principal Charge-off Dollars $527 $520 $370
Net Interest and Fee Charge-off Dollars $107 $110 $80
Loans Delinquent Over 30 Days 3 $1,605 $1,457 $1,269
Loans Delinquent Over 90 Days 3 $709 $667 $545
 
Allowance for Loan Loss (period end) $2,531 $2,384 $2,024
Change in Loan Loss Reserves $147 $120 $75
Reserve Rate 3.15% 3.06% 2.75%
Reserve Rate excluding PCI Loans 3 3.20% 3.11% 2.81%
 

CREDIT CARD LOANS

Ending Loans $63,475 $61,797 $58,006
Average Loans $62,647 $60,700 $57,561
 
Interest Yield 12.83% 12.66% 12.53%
Gross Principal Charge-off Rate 3.53% 3.71% 2.93%
Net Principal Charge-off Rate 2.80% 2.94% 2.17%
Delinquency Rate (over 30 days) 2.14% 2.00% 1.87%
Delinquency Rate (over 90 days) 1.02% 0.98% 0.86%
Gross Principal Charge-off Dollars $555 $561 $425
Net Principal Charge-off Dollars $439 $445 $314
Loans Delinquent Over 30 Days $1,359 $1,237 $1,086
Loans Delinquent Over 90 Days $646 $603 $500
 
Allowance for Loan Loss (period end) $2,091 $1,980 $1,661
Change in Loan Loss Reserves $111 $88 $58
Reserve Rate 3.29% 3.21% 2.86%
 
Total Discover Card Volume $35,581 $35,297 $33,471
Discover Card Sales Volume $32,161 $32,172 $30,683
Rewards Rate 1.30% 1.20% 1.20%
 

NETWORK VOLUME

PULSE Network $39,828 $38,848 $33,913
Network Partners 3,811 3,461 3,313
Diners Club International 4 7,989 7,800 7,331
Total Payment Services 51,628 50,109 44,557
Discover Network - Proprietary 33,576 33,342 31,759
Total $85,204 $83,451 $76,316
 
 

1 Total Loans includes Home Equity and other loans.

 
2 Purchased Credit Impaired ("PCI") loans are loans that were acquired in which a deterioration in credit quality occurred between the origination date and the acquisition date. These loans were initially recorded at fair value and accrete interest income over the estimated lives of the loans as long as cash flows are reasonably estimable, even if the loans are contractually past due. PCI loans are private student loans and are included in total loan receivables.
 
3 Excludes PCI loans (described above) which are accounted for on a pooled basis. Since a pool is accounted for as a single asset with a single composite interest rate and aggregate expectation of cash flows, the past-due status of a pool, or that of the individual loans within a pool, is not meaningful. Because the Company is recognizing interest income on a pool of loans, it is all considered to be performing.
 
4 Volume is derived from data provided by licensees for Diners Club branded cards issued outside of North America and is subject to subsequent revision or amendment.
 

Note: See Glossary for definitions of financial terms in the financial supplement which is available online at the SEC's website (http://www.sec.gov) and the Company's website (http://investorrelations.discoverfinancial.com).

Contacts

Discover Financial Services
Investors:
Craig Streem, 224-405-5923
craigstreem@discover.com
or
Media:
Jon Drummond, 224-405-1888
jondrummond@discover.com

Contacts

Discover Financial Services
Investors:
Craig Streem, 224-405-5923
craigstreem@discover.com
or
Media:
Jon Drummond, 224-405-1888
jondrummond@discover.com