Discover's 3Q Results Best Wall Street's Forecasts

Powered by double-digit revenue growth, card giant Discover Financial (NYSE:DFS) easily beat the Street on Thursday with a 3% dip in third-quarter profits.

Shares of the payment services company rallied more than 3% in premarket action on the stronger-than-expected top- and bottom-line results.

Discover said it earned $627 million, or $1.21 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $649 million, or $1.18 a share, a year earlier. Analysts had been calling for EPS of just $1.03.

Revenue climbed 10% to $2 billion, besting the Street’s view of $1.90 billion.

Total loans jumped 9% to $59.2 billion, while credit-card loans gained 4% to $48.1 billion. Card sales volume rose 4%.

In a sign of improving health of U.S. consumers, Discover said the delinquency rate for loans over 30 days past due and net charge-offs reached at historic lows of 1.81% and 2.43%, respectively.

“Card sales and receivables grew in a challenging environment while credit quality continued to improve,” Discover CEO David Nelms said in a statement.

Wall Street cheered Discover’s earnings beat, bidding the company’s shares up 3.30% to $38.24 ahead of the opening bell. The gains should allow Discover to tack onto its 2012 rally of 54%.

Rivals American Express (NYSE:AXP), Visa (NYSE:V) and Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF) are all slated to report results next month.