Bridgewater Wealth & Financial Management LLC increased its stake in shares of American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) by 4.4% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 117,177 shares of the payment services company’s stock after acquiring an additional 4,973 shares during the quarter. American Express comprises approximately 3.3% of Bridgewater Wealth & Financial Management LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 5th largest holding. Bridgewater Wealth & Financial Management LLC’s holdings in American Express were worth $9,871,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
A number of other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. MCF Advisors LLC increased its stake in American Express by 0.3% in 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 increased its stake in 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 valued at $109,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the period. SpiderRock Advisors LLC acquired a new position in American Express in the first quarter valued at $112,000. MV Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in 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 valued at $122,000 after purchasing an additional 49 shares during the period. Finally, SRS Capital Advisors Inc. increased its stake in American Express by 10.3% in 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. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.78% of the company’s stock.
A number of research analysts have commented on the stock. Buckingham Research assumed coverage on shares of American Express in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $92.00 price objective on the stock. Compass Point lowered shares of American Express from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Credit Suisse Group restated a “sell” rating and issued a $79.00 price objective on shares of American Express in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $95.00 price objective on shares of American Express and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 19th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of American Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $87.69.
In other news, Vice Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 94,792 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.41, for a total transaction of $8,096,184.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 261,665 shares in the company, valued at approximately $22,348,807.65. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Paul D. Fabara sold 5,981 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.88, for a total transaction of $513,648.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 959,617 shares of company stock valued at $81,377,425. Insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.
American Express (NYSE:AXP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 19th. The payment services company reported $1.47 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.03. American Express had a net margin of 14.11% and a return on equity of 21.90%. The company had revenue of $8.31 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $8.20 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $2.10 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis.
American Express declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback 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 buy up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 6th will be given a dividend of $0.35 per share. This is a positive change from American Express’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 5th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.53%. American Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 28.63%.
American Express Profile
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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