State of Wisconsin Investment Board raised its stake in American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) by 1.2% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 996,152 shares of the payment services company’s stock after buying an additional 11,645 shares during the period. State of Wisconsin Investment Board’s holdings in American Express were worth $78,806,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of AXP. SeaBridge Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of American Express during the first quarter valued at $100,000. MCF Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of American Express by 0.5% in the first quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 1,282 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. SpiderRock Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of American Express during the first quarter worth approximately $112,000. Capital Guardian Trust Co. boosted its stake in shares of American Express by 23.6% in the fourth quarter. Capital Guardian Trust Co. now owns 1,717 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 328 shares during the period. Finally, Sowell Financial Services LLC purchased a new stake in shares of American Express during the fourth quarter worth approximately $128,000. 83.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

American Express Company (NYSE AXP) traded up 0.50% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $85.97. 2,840,215 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm has a market cap of $76.00 billion, a PE ratio of 17.63 and a beta of 1.18. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $83.91 and its 200 day moving average is $79.79. American Express Company has a 52-week low of $59.50 and a 52-week high of $86.33.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The payment services company reported $1.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.03. American Express had a net margin of 14.11% and a return on equity of 21.90%. The business had revenue of $8.31 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.20 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $2.10 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that American Express Company will post $5.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

American Express announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to buyback $4.40 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the payment services company to purchase up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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A number of analysts have commented on the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of American Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $100.00 price target (up previously from $99.00) on shares of American Express in a research report on Saturday, July 22nd. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $85.00 price target on shares of American Express in a research report on Saturday, July 22nd. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 price target (up previously from $90.00) on shares of American Express in a research report on Saturday, July 22nd. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $94.00 price target (up previously from $87.00) on shares of American Express in a research report on Saturday, July 22nd. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $84.77.

In other news, Vice Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 94,792 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.41, for a total transaction of $8,096,184.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 261,665 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $22,348,807.65. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Marc D. Gordon sold 4,900 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.98, for a total transaction of $377,202.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 948,287 shares of company stock valued at $80,321,961 over the last three months. 0.67% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

About American Express

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).

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

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