American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) had its price objective dropped by stock analysts at Morgan Stanley from $90.00 to $89.00 in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The firm currently has an “equal weight” rating on the payment services company’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s price target suggests a potential upside of 5.64% from the stock’s previous close.

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on AXP. Barclays PLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $83.00 target price on shares of American Express in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of American Express in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. BidaskClub raised shares of American Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $85.00 target price on shares of American Express in a research note on Saturday, July 22nd. Finally, Guggenheim reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 target price (up from $90.00) on shares of American Express in a research note on Saturday, July 22nd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $86.37.

Shares of American Express (NYSE AXP) opened at 84.25 on Friday. American Express has a 12 month low of $59.50 and a 12 month high of $87.78. The stock has a market capitalization of $74.48 billion, a PE ratio of 17.28 and a beta of 1.18. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $85.41 and its 200 day moving average is $81.26. American Express also was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Traders acquired 9,027 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 153% compared to the average volume of 3,574 put options.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The payment services company reported $1.47 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $8.31 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.20 billion. American Express had a net margin of 14.11% and a return on equity of 21.90%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $2.10 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that American Express will post $5.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

American Express declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to buyback $4.40 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the payment services company to reacquire up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other American Express news, CEO Kenneth I. Chenault sold 789,503 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.62, for a total transaction of $66,807,743.86. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 889,836 shares in the company, valued at approximately $75,297,922.32. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Anre D. Williams sold 53,111 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.24, for a total transaction of $4,527,181.64. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 79,614 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,786,297.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 943,387 shares of company stock valued at $79,944,759 in the last quarter. 0.67% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in American Express by 19.5% during the 1st quarter. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. now owns 641,409 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $50,742,000 after acquiring an additional 104,647 shares in the last quarter. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. acquired a new position in American Express during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $215,000. Trust Co. of Vermont grew its holdings in American Express by 5.0% during the 1st quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 17,289 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $1,367,000 after acquiring an additional 819 shares in the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. grew its holdings in American Express by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 5,115 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $405,000 after acquiring an additional 128 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in American Express by 14.2% during the 1st quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 31,949 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $2,527,000 after acquiring an additional 3,968 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 82.80% of the company’s stock.

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).

Analyst Recommendations for American Express (NYSE:AXP)

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