Buckingham Research Initiates Coverage on American Express Company (AXP)
Equities research analysts at Buckingham Research assumed coverage on shares of American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. The brokerage set a “neutral” rating and a $92.00 price target on the payment services company’s stock. Buckingham Research’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 0.62% from the company’s current price.
AXP has been the topic of several other reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered American Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on American Express from $90.00 to $89.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, September 8th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $95.00 price objective on American Express and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 19th. BidaskClub raised American Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $100.00 price objective (up previously from $99.00) on shares of American Express in a research note on Saturday, July 22nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. American Express presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $86.53.
American Express (AXP) opened at 91.43 on Monday. American Express has a 12-month low of $59.50 and a 12-month high of $91.64. The company has a market cap of $80.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.75 and a beta of 1.21. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $86.96 and its 200 day moving average is $82.35.
American Express (NYSE:AXP) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The payment services company reported $1.47 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.44 by $0.03. American Express had a return on equity of 21.90% and a net margin of 14.11%. The company had revenue of $8.31 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $8.20 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.10 EPS. American Express’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that American Express will post $5.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
American Express declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $4.40 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the payment services company to repurchase up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
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In related news, insider Paul D. Fabara sold 5,981 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.88, for a total value of $513,648.28. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Susan Sobbott sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.39, for a total transaction of $506,340.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 949,387 shares of company stock valued at $80,451,099 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. MCF Advisors LLC raised its holdings in 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 last quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA lifted its stake in shares of American Express by 30.4% in the second 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 in the last quarter. Capital Analysts LLC bought a new position in shares of American Express in the second quarter worth approximately $115,000. SpiderRock Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of American Express in the first quarter worth approximately $112,000. Finally, MV Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of American Express by 3.5% in the second 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 in the last quarter. 82.78% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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).
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