Discover results beat, but signs grow that customers are falling behind; company declares dividends

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Shares of Discover Financial Services on Wednesday slid in after-hours trade, after the banking and credit-card provider reported fourth-quarter results that beat expectations — but also signs consumers were falling behind on payments. The company reported fourth-quarter net income of $1.03 billion, or $3.77 a share, compared with $1.07 billion, or $3.64 a share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue jumped 27% to $3.73 billion, compared with $2.94 billion in the prior-year quarter. Net interest income climbed 24%. For the fourth quarter, analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings per share of $3.65, on revenue of $3.668 billion. Shares fell 6% after hours. Loan growth helped the results for the quarter. Discover ended the quarter with $112.1 billion in loans, up 20% from the same quarter in 2021. Management said that its total net charge-off rate — a measure of debt a business thinks it will be unlikely to recover — rose to 2.13% from 1.37%. The 30-plus day delinquency rate for credit card loans was 2.53%, up from the prior quarter and year. Discover said its board declared semi-annual cash dividends, as well as a quarterly cash dividend of 60 cents a share.

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