Discover Financial Services (DFS) rode credit card loan growth in the fourth quarter to earnings of $602 million, an increase of nearly 12% over the same period in 2012.

The Riverwoods, Ill.-based card issuer reported earnings per diluted share of $1.23. That surpassed the $1.06 earnings per share that Discover recorded in the fourth quarter of 2012, and it also beat the $1.20 consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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