American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) has been given an average rating of “Hold” by the thirty-two analysts that are covering the stock, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, seventeen have given a hold recommendation and twelve have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $86.16.

Several equities analysts have commented on AXP shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded American Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 30th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on American Express from $90.00 to $89.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, September 8th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $85.00 price target on shares of American Express in a research note on Saturday, July 22nd. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $100.00 price target (up previously from $99.00) on shares of American Express in a research note on Saturday, July 22nd. Finally, Guggenheim reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 price target (up previously from $90.00) on shares of American Express in a research note on Saturday, July 22nd.

Shares of American Express (AXP) traded up 0.43% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $91.55. The company had a trading volume of 1,891,848 shares. The company has a market cap of $80.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.78 and a beta of 1.21. American Express has a 52-week low of $59.50 and a 52-week high of $91.64. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $87.34 and its 200 day moving average price is $82.57.

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

American Express declared that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $4.40 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the payment services company to reacquire up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 6th will be paid a $0.35 dividend. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.53%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 5th. This is a boost from American Express’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. American Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 26.18%.

In other news, insider James Peter Bush sold 10,230 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.55, for a total value of $926,326.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Kenneth I. Chenault sold 789,503 shares of the firm’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 value 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 959,617 shares of company stock worth $81,377,425 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of American Express by 1.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 50,233,957 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $4,231,710,000 after purchasing an additional 731,428 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of American Express by 1.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 44,685,897 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $3,764,339,000 after purchasing an additional 508,030 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its holdings in shares of American Express by 1.8% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 40,399,620 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $3,196,011,000 after purchasing an additional 731,315 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP lifted its holdings in shares of American Express by 21.7% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 17,198,787 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $1,360,596,000 after purchasing an additional 3,071,573 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Eagle Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of American Express by 0.6% in the second quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC now owns 16,342,822 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $1,376,719,000 after purchasing an additional 103,546 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 82.78% of the company’s stock.

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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).

Analyst Recommendations for American Express (NYSE:AXP)

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