Murphy Capital Management Inc. Reduces Stock Holdings in American Express (NYSE:AXP)

Murphy Capital Management Inc. decreased its holdings in American Express (NYSE:AXP) by 0.7% in the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 21,005 shares of the payment services company’s stock after selling 140 shares during the quarter. Murphy Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in American Express were worth $2,484,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

A number of other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the stock. Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in American Express by 15.3% in the second quarter. Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 9,108 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $1,127,000 after purchasing an additional 1,208 shares in the last quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. increased its holdings in shares of American Express by 16.8% during the second quarter. CSat Investment Advisory L.P. now owns 10,178 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $1,256,000 after acquiring an additional 1,466 shares in the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC increased its holdings in shares of American Express by 3.1% during the second quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 566,433 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $69,920,000 after acquiring an additional 16,907 shares in the last quarter. Aft Forsyth & Company Inc. increased its holdings in shares of American Express by 1.1% during the second quarter. Aft Forsyth & Company Inc. now owns 9,181 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $1,133,000 after acquiring an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of American Express by 306.2% during the second quarter. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. now owns 144,420 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $17,827,000 after acquiring an additional 108,870 shares in the last quarter. 83.86% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

In other news, CEO Stephen J. Squeri sold 15,000 shares of American Express stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.33, for a total transaction of $1,774,950.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 199,609 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $23,619,732.97. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Paul D. Fabara sold 15,455 shares of American Express stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $127.06, for a total value of $1,963,712.30. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 35,931 shares in the company, valued at $4,565,392.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 37,500 shares of company stock worth $4,618,653 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:AXP traded up $1.96 on Friday, hitting $116.98. The stock had a trading volume of 1,452,197 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,561,523. The stock has a market cap of $93.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.96, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 1.06. The company has a quick ratio of 1.84, a current ratio of 1.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.50. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $117.97 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $119.36. American Express has a 52-week low of $89.05 and a 52-week high of $129.34.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last announced its earnings results on Friday, July 19th. The payment services company reported $2.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.05 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $10.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.82 billion. American Express had a return on equity of 29.75% and a net margin of 16.60%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.84 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that American Express will post 8.13 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a 0.39000 dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 4th will be given a $0.43 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 3rd. This represents a yield of 1.3%. American Express’s payout ratio is 23.47%.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Bank of America assumed coverage on American Express in a report on Wednesday, June 19th. They set a “buy” rating and a $145.00 price target for the company. Royal Bank of Canada increased their price objective on American Express from $120.00 to $125.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Monday, July 22nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price objective on American Express from $135.00 to $140.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 10th. Jefferies Financial Group set a $130.00 price objective on American Express and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. Finally, William Blair reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of American Express in a research report on Tuesday, June 18th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $124.78.

About American Express

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 three segments: Global Consumer Services Group, Global Commercial Services, and Global Merchant and Network Services.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for American Express (NYSE:AXP)

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