Discover Financial Services today reported net income of $602 million or $1.20 per diluted share for the second quarter of 2013, as compared to $525 million or $0.99 per diluted share for the second quarter of 2012. The company's return on equity was 23%.
Second Quarter Highlights
Total loans grew $3.7 billion, or 6%, from the prior year to $61.7 billion.
Credit card loans grew $2.3 billion, or 5%, to $49.8 billion and Discover card sales volume increased 4% from the prior year.
Credit card loan delinquencies over 30 days past due reached a record low of 1.58%. Credit card net charge-off rate decreased 2 basis points sequentially to 2.34%.
Payment Services pre-tax income was down $71 million from the prior year to a pre-tax loss of $21 million.
"Discover's strong overall results were driven by profitable growth in Direct Banking and continued improvement in credit offset to a small degree by a loss in Payment Services as we supported Diners franchises in Europe," said David Nelms, chairman and CEO of Discover.
Direct Banking pre-tax income of $1.0 billion in the quarter was up $206 million, or 26%, from the prior year.
Discover card sales volume grew 4% from the prior year to $27.6 billion. Credit card loans ended the quarter at $49.8 billion, up 5% from the prior year.
Total loans ended the quarter at $61.7 billion, up 6% compared to the prior year. Private student loans increased $390 million, or 5%, from the prior year and personal loans increased $652 million, or 22%, from the prior year.
Revenue net of interest expense increased $182 million, up 10% from the prior year due to loan growth, revenue from Discover Home Loans, which was launched in June 2012 after acquiring Home Loan Centre assets from Tree.com, and lower funding costs.
Net interest margin was 9.44%, up 16 basis points from the prior year. The increase in net interest margin from the prior year reflects decreased funding costs partially offset by lower loan yield. Credit card yield was 11.97%, a decrease of 24 basis points from the prior year. The decline in credit card yield from the prior year reflects an increase in promotional rate balances and a decline in higher rate balances, partially offset by lower interest charge-offs. Interest expense as a percent of total loans decreased 39 basis points from the prior year as the company continued to take advantage of available low rate funding.
Net interest income increased $116 million, or 9%, from the prior year, benefiting from loan growth and lower interest expense, which was partially offset by a decline in loan yield.
Other income increased $66 million, or 14%, from the prior year primarily due to revenue from Discover Home Loans and higher net interchange revenue as a result of increased sales.
The delinquency rate for credit card loans over 30 days past due was 1.58%, an improvement of 27 basis points from the prior year, and a decrease of 19 basis points from the prior quarter. Credit card net charge-off rate for the second quarter was 2.34%, down 38 basis points from the prior year, and down 2 basis points from the prior quarter. The student loan net charge-off rate excluding PCI loans was 1.58%, up 85 basis points from the prior year and 76 basis points sequentially, due to a larger portion of the portfolio entering repayment and seasonality, respectively. Personal loan net charge-off rate decreased 1 basis point from the prior year and 6 basis points sequentially to 2.24%.
Provision for loan losses of $225 million decreased $37 million from the prior year, driven by a decline in charge-offs and a higher reserve release. The reserve release for the second quarter of 2013 was $93 million reflecting the impact of a 21 basis point decline in the reserve rate from the prior quarter partially offset by additional reserves due to loan growth. The second quarter of 2012 included a reserve release of $73 million. Net principal charge-offs were $17 million lower than the prior year as a result of the continued decline in delinquencies and bankruptcies.
Expenses were up $13 million, or 2%, from the prior year. The increase in expenses was due to higher employee compensation and marketing associated with the Home Loan Centre acquisition, increased card marketing initiatives and higher headcount. The second quarter of 2012 included a $90 million addition to legal reserves.
Payment Services pre-tax loss for the quarter was $21 million as expenses increased $49 million from the prior year. Total pre-tax charges related to supporting Diners Club International franchises during the quarter were $55 million, which included a $15 million increase in loan loss provisions for prior franchise loans.
Payment Services dollar volume was $49.4 billion for the second quarter of 2013, down 2% from the prior year. PULSE transaction dollar volume declined by 3% year-over-year due to merchant routing and competitor actions.
During the second quarter of 2013, the company repurchased approximately 7 million shares of common stock for $340 million. Shares of common stock outstanding declined by 1% from the prior quarter.