Analysts predict that American Express (NYSE:AXP) will report earnings of $1.79 per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Seven analysts have issued estimates for American Express’ earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $1.82 and the lowest estimate coming in at $1.76. American Express reported earnings of $1.58 per share in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 13.3%. The firm is expected to announce its next earnings report on Thursday, January 17th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that American Express will report full-year earnings of $7.33 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $7.15 to $7.40. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the company will report earnings of $8.17 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $7.81 to $8.45. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that cover American Express.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The payment services company reported $1.88 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.77 by $0.11. American Express had a net margin of 9.51% and a return on equity of 32.01%. The firm had revenue of $10.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.06 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.50 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several research firms have weighed in on AXP. DZ Bank upgraded shares of American Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Stephens set a $131.00 target price on shares of American Express and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday. UBS Group upgraded shares of American Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “sell” rating and set a $87.00 target price on shares of American Express in a research note on Thursday, July 19th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on shares of American Express from $103.00 to $106.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $112.17.

In related news, CFO Jeffrey C. Campbell sold 9,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.73, for a total value of $897,570.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 66,568 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,638,826.64. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen J. Squeri sold 12,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.73, for a total transaction of $1,246,625.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 191,971 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $19,145,267.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 47,448 shares of company stock valued at $4,942,168. Corporate insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of AXP. Destination Wealth Management lifted its holdings in American Express by 165.4% in the second quarter. Destination Wealth Management now owns 1,059 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $104,000 after purchasing an additional 660 shares during the period. Tuttle Tactical Management acquired a new stake in American Express in the second quarter worth about $105,000. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC raised its position in American Express by 1,173.8% in the third quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,070 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $114,000 after acquiring an additional 986 shares in the last quarter. Kiley Juergens Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in American Express in the second quarter worth about $148,000. Finally, Guidant Wealth Advisors raised its position in American Express by 280.7% in the second quarter. Guidant Wealth Advisors now owns 807 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $150,000 after acquiring an additional 595 shares in the last quarter. 82.92% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

AXP stock opened at $106.73 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.67, a current ratio of 1.92 and a quick ratio of 1.92. American Express has a 1-year low of $87.54 and a 1-year high of $111.77. The firm has a market cap of $91.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 1.17.

American Express declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, June 28th that permits the company to buyback $3.40 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the payment services company to buy up to 4.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 9th. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 5th will be issued a dividend of $0.39 per share. This is an increase from American Express’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.35. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 4th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.46%. American Express’s payout ratio is 26.58%.

About American Express

American Express Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to consumers and businesses worldwide. It operates through four segments: U.S. Consumer Services, International Consumer and Network Services, Global Commercial Services, and Global Merchant Services.

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Earnings History and Estimates for American Express (NYSE:AXP)

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