Today, American Express Co. (AXP) gets Hold status at The Zacks Investment Research

Today, American Express Co. (AXP) gets Hold status at The Zacks Investment Research
American Express Co. (NYSE:AXP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “American Express is set to grow over the long term from a secular shift toward digital payment methods. Its improved credit profile, impressive business initiatives, and investment in digital channels are expected to boost returns. The company’s cost-reduction initiative should drive efficiency and bottom-line growth. American Express, however, faces headwinds from high loan loss provisions, stiff competition, a strong U.S. dollar and loss of Costco as a client. The company’s third-quarter earnings 2016 per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate but remained flat year over year. Nevertheless, continued favorable trends in credit and operating expense performance, offset partially by increases in marketing, promotion and rewards, allowed the company to raise its full year 2016 EPS guidance in the range of $5.90 to $6.00. Also, it affirmed 2017 EPS guidance of $5.60.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on AXP. Vetr raised American Express from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $57.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 18th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of American Express in a research note on Saturday, October 22nd. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $62.00 price target on shares of American Express in a research note on Friday, September 16th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of American Express in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $71.00 price target on shares of American Express in a research note on Wednesday, September 7th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $67.65.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) traded down 0.03% on Friday, reaching $72.86. 1,881,632 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $66.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.95 and a beta of 1.19. American Express has a 52-week low of $50.27 and a 52-week high of $73.18. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $66.37 and a 200 day moving average price of $64.57.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 19th. The payment services company reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.28. American Express had a net margin of 16.67% and a return on equity of 27.84%. The firm had revenue of $7.80 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.70 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.24 earnings per share. American Express’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that American Express will post $5.73 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 10th. Investors of record on Friday, January 6th will be given a $0.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, January 4th. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.76%. American Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 22.70%.

In related news, insider Susan Sobbott sold 19,186 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.45, for a total value of $1,351,653.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 56,870 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,006,491.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Ashwini Gupta sold 140,808 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.18, for a total value of $9,459,481.44. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 239,718 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,104,255.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.78% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Mycio Wealth Partners LLC boosted its position in shares of American Express by 4.1% in the second quarter. Mycio Wealth Partners LLC now owns 1,638 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 65 shares during the period. Blume Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of American Express by 15.5% in the second quarter. Blume Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,733 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 233 shares during the last quarter. Motco boosted its position in shares of American Express by 31.6% in the third quarter. Motco now owns 1,815 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 436 shares during the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its position in shares of American Express by 10.4% in the third quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,140 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $137,000 after buying an additional 201 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Alpha Windward LLC boosted its position in shares of American Express by 1.3% in the third quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 2,392 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $153,000 after buying an additional 31 shares during the last quarter. 82.13% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About American Express

American Express Company is a services company. The Company’s principal products and services are charge and credit payment card products, and travel-related services offered to consumers and businesses around the world. The Company’s segments include U.S. Consumer Services (USCS), International Consumer and Network Services (ICNS), Global Commercial Services (GCS) and Global Merchant Services (GMS).

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