Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of American Express (NYSE:AXP) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday morning.
According to Zacks, “Shares of American Express have outperformed the industry in a year's time. The company continues to witness strong loan growth and credit metrics, plus lower operating costs. A solid market position, strength in card business and significant opportunities from the secular shift toward electronic payments are growth drivers. Strategic initiatives focusing on the platinum card portfolio and the OptBlue program will drive business volume. Cost reduction and return of significant capital to shareholders through dividend and share buyback are also positives. However, an increase in provision for losses, high rewards expense and cost of card member services are the other headwinds.”
AXP has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Credit Suisse Group reissued an underperform rating and set a $84.00 price objective (up previously from $79.00) on shares of American Express in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. ValuEngine cut shares of American Express from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Bank of America reissued a buy rating and set a $102.00 price objective on shares of American Express in a research report on Monday, October 9th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of American Express from $89.00 to $97.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reissued an outperform rating and set a $115.00 price objective (up previously from $105.00) on shares of American Express in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $98.96.
American Express (NYSE:AXP) traded up $0.24 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $100.97. 3,231,489 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,160,000. The company has a market cap of $87,640.00, a PE ratio of 19.49, a PEG ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a quick ratio of 1.90, a current ratio of 1.90 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.31. American Express has a one year low of $75.39 and a one year high of $101.65.
American Express (NYSE:AXP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 18th. The payment services company reported $1.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.47 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $8.44 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.31 billion. American Express had a net margin of 14.48% and a return on equity of 22.73%. The business’s revenue was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.24 EPS. research analysts forecast that American Express will post 5.85 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 5th will be paid a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 4th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.39%. American Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 27.03%.
In other news, insider Anre D. Williams sold 30,761 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.41, for a total transaction of $2,873,385.01. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 28,720 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,682,735.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Kenneth I. Chenault sold 96,440 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.30, for a total transaction of $9,383,612.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,178,333 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $114,651,800.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 442,869 shares of company stock valued at $42,823,869. Company insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA boosted its holdings in American Express by 30.4% in the 2nd quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA now owns 1,288 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the period. Capital Analysts LLC bought a new position in American Express in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $115,000. Zions Bancorporation boosted its holdings in American Express by 912.9% in the 3rd quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 1,337 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 1,205 shares during the period. MV Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in American Express by 3.5% in the 2nd quarter. MV Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,448 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $122,000 after buying an additional 49 shares during the period. Finally, Westside Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in American Express by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,536 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $129,000 after buying an additional 8 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 83.35% of the company’s stock.
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American Express Company Profile
American Express Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a global services company. The Company’s principal products and services are charge and credit card products, and travel-related services, which are offered to consumers and businesses around the world. Its segments include the U.S. Consumer Services (USCS), International Consumer and Network Services (ICNS), Global Commercial Services (GCS) and Global Merchant Services (GMS).
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