Why This Analyst Says Dump Credit Card Stocks Now

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Many analysts believe that a recession is coming, or we are already in it. Evidence of this includes five consecutive weeks of losses for the S&P 500, as well as a drop in gross domestic product of 1.4% for the first quarter. While the prospect of a recession has many investors worried about where to put their cash, one Wall Street analyst suggests that one industry is no place to have your money now.

Wolfe Research issued a few calls on Thursday focused on credit card stocks. Analyst Bill Carcache thinks that a handful of companies within this industry are in for a rough time, considering a recession is likely.

Recent headwinds have put a damper on the markets in general, and Wolfe Research believes it will only get worse for these credit card firms. The decreased spending that is generally associated with recessions would have an outsized impact on these firms, and as interest rates are rising more, consumers likely will be saving their money instead of spending it. As a result, Wolfe cut its ratings for these four stocks.

It is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.

Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF) operates as a consumer financial services company in the United States. It provides credit products, such as credit cards, commercial credit products and consumer installment loans. Wolfe Research downgraded to an Underperform rating from Peer Perform with a $22 price target, implying downside of 38% from the most recent closing price of $35.33.

Synchrony stock has a 52-week trading range of $33.22 to $52.49, and it traded near $34 a share on Thursday. The stock is down about 24% year to date.

Wolfe Research downgraded Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) to a Peer Perform rating from Outperform and has a $97 price target. That implies downside of 7% from the most recent closing price of $104.63. This financial services company operates in two segments: Digital Banking and Payment Services. The firm not only provides lending via credit cards, but it offers personal loans, home loans and student loans, among other services.

The stock was trading around $102, in a 52-week trading range of $99.79 to $135.69. Discover shares are down nearly 9% year to date.

Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) operates as a financial services company through three segments: Credit Card, Consumer Banking and Commercial Banking. The company is headquartered in Virginia and primarily operates within the United States. Wolfe Research downgraded the stock to Underperform from Peer Perform and has an $86 price target, implying downside of 28% from the most recent closing price of $119.59.

The 52-week trading range is $115.04 to $177.95, and shares traded near $117 Thursday. Shares are down over 17% year to date.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) is one of the largest credit card companies on the planet. It occupies a spot in the Dow Jones industrial average and is a staple of many portfolios, with its consistent returns over the years. Wolfe Research’s downgrade was from Outperform to Peer Perform with a $146 price target, implying downside of 8% from the most recent closing price of $159.39.

Shares traded around $156 Thursday, in a 52-week trading range of $149.89 to $199.55. The stock is down 2% year to date.

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