Investors Buy Shares of American Express (AXP) on Weakness

Investors bought shares of American Express (NYSE:AXP) on weakness during trading hours on Thursday. $80.17 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $54.67 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $25.50 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, American Express had the 28th highest net in-flow for the day. American Express traded down ($0.57) for the day and closed at $98.26

A number of research firms have commented on AXP. Buckingham Research lowered shares of American Express from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $112.00 target price for the company. in a report on Thursday, November 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of American Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, September 20th. Stephens raised shares of American Express from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $110.50 target price for the company in a report on Monday, September 17th. Barclays set a $118.00 target price on shares of American Express and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, December 14th. Finally, William Blair reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of American Express in a report on Friday, December 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $111.43.

The stock has a market capitalization of $84.43 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.79, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.15 and a beta of 1.14. The company has a current ratio of 1.88, a quick ratio of 1.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.58.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The payment services company reported $1.88 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.77 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $10.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.06 billion. American Express had a net margin of 9.51% and a return on equity of 31.26%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.50 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that American Express will post 7.38 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, January 4th will be given a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 3rd. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.58%. American Express’s dividend payout ratio is 26.58%.

In other news, Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 12,500 shares of American Express stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.84, for a total transaction of $1,298,000.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 209,957 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $21,801,934.88. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. IMS Capital Management bought a new stake in American Express in the 3rd quarter valued at $75,000. Ancora Advisors LLC bought a new stake in American Express in the 3rd quarter valued at $106,000. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC lifted its position in American Express by 1,173.8% in the 3rd quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,070 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $114,000 after acquiring an additional 986 shares in the last quarter. Sageworth Trust Co lifted its position in American Express by 455.6% in the 3rd quarter. Sageworth Trust Co now owns 1,250 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $133,000 after acquiring an additional 1,025 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Westside Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in American Express by 67.7% in the 3rd quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,595 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $171,000 after acquiring an additional 644 shares in the last quarter. 82.83% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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American Express Company Profile (NYSE:AXP)

American Express Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to consumers and businesses worldwide. It operates through four segments: U.S. Consumer Services, International Consumer and Network Services, Global Commercial Services, and Global Merchant Services.

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