Discover Financial Services posted third-quarter net income allocated to common shareholders of $749 million, or $2.36 per share, an increase from the $699 million, or $2.05 per share, reported a year ago.
The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus GAAP EPS estimate for the quarter was $2.27.
Revenue, net of interest expense, was $2.90 billion for the quarter, compared with $2.72 billion in the prior-year period. Total loans at the end of the quarter had grown 6% to $91.35 billion from the same period of 2018, when total loans were $85.86 billion. Credit card loans jumped 7% year over year to $73.25 billion in the third quarter.
Net interest income totaled $2.40 billion for the quarter, versus $2.22 billion in the year-ago quarter. The net interest margin in the company's direct banking unit increased by 15 basis points to 10.43%, on a year-over-year basis.
Discover's direct banking unit reported pretax income of $943 million for the quarter, compared with $923 million in the year-ago quarter. The company attributed the increase to higher net interest income, which it disclosed was offset by an increase in provision for loan losses and higher operating expenses. Operating expenses increased 9% to $1.11 billion in the quarter from the same period of 2018. The company cited higher employee compensation, professional fees and marketing for the increased expenses.
The third-quarter provision for loan losses was $799 million, compared with $742 million a year earlier. Discover's net principal charge-off rate, excluding credit-impaired loans, was 3.09% for the period, versus 3.03% in the prior-year period.
Discover's delinquency rate for total loan receivables, excluding purchased credit-impaired loans more than 30 days past due was 2.32%, compared with 2.22% in the third quarter of 2018.