American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) had its price objective hoisted by research analysts at Morgan Stanley from $89.00 to $97.00 in a report released on Thursday. The firm presently has an “equal weight” rating on the payment services company’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s price objective points to a potential upside of 5.34% from the stock’s previous close.

AXP has been the subject of several other research reports. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed an “in-line” rating and set a $93.00 price target (up previously from $85.00) on shares of American Express in a research note on Thursday. BidaskClub raised shares of American Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Buckingham Research started coverage on shares of American Express in a report on Monday, October 2nd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $92.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of American Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $96.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, August 29th. Finally, Instinet reissued an “underperform” rating and set a $80.00 price objective on shares of American Express in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $89.28.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) traded down 0.47% on Thursday, hitting $91.65. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,634,691 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $88.85 and a 200 day moving average of $83.39. The firm has a market cap of $81.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.80 and a beta of 1.21. American Express has a 12 month low of $64.75 and a 12 month high of $92.95.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The payment services company reported $1.50 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.47 by $0.03. American Express had a net margin of 14.11% and a return on equity of 21.90%. The firm had revenue of $8.44 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.31 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.24 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that American Express will post $5.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

American Express declared that its board has initiated a share 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 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 stock is undervalued.

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In related news, insider James Peter Bush sold 10,230 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.55, for a total transaction of $926,326.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Susan Sobbott sold 6,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 7th. The shares were 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 959,617 shares of company stock valued at $81,377,425 over the last 90 days. 0.67% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. MCF Advisors LLC lifted its position in American Express by 0.3% during the second quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 1,286 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $108,000 after purchasing an additional 4 shares during the period. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA lifted its position in American Express by 30.4% during the second quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA now owns 1,288 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $109,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the period. Capital Analysts LLC acquired a new position in American Express during the second quarter valued at $115,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. lifted its position in American Express by 10.3% during the first quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,476 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $116,000 after purchasing an additional 138 shares during the period. Finally, Westside Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in American Express by 36.7% during the first quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,528 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $119,000 after purchasing an additional 410 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 82.77% of the company’s stock.

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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