American Express (AXP) Upgraded at Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of American Express (NYSE:AXP) from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. Morgan Stanley currently has $140.00 price objective on the payment services company’s stock.

A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on AXP. Wells Fargo & Co lowered their target price on shares of American Express from $122.00 to $115.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, January 3rd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of American Express from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, January 3rd. Credit Suisse Group reissued a hold rating and set a $93.00 target price on shares of American Express in a research note on Friday, January 18th. Bank of America set a $108.00 price target on shares of American Express and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Friday, January 18th. Finally, Atlantic Securities raised shares of American Express from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and set a $100.80 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $116.63.

Shares of NYSE AXP opened at $119.34 on Friday. American Express has a twelve month low of $89.05 and a twelve month high of $119.65. The firm has a market cap of $98.04 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.28, a PEG ratio of 1.37 and a beta of 1.13. The company has a quick ratio of 1.88, a current ratio of 1.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.63.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 18th. The payment services company reported $2.01 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.00 by $0.01. American Express had a net margin of 16.60% and a return on equity of 29.86%. The business had revenue of $10.36 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.46 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.86 earnings per share. American Express’s quarterly revenue was up 6.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts predict that American Express will post 8.15 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 5th will be paid a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.31%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 4th. American Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 21.28%.

In other news, insider Michael John O’neill sold 15,749 shares of American Express stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, April 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $113.94, for a total transaction of $1,794,441.06. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 69,941 shares in the company, valued at $7,969,077.54. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Richard Petrino sold 2,444 shares of American Express stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.11, for a total transaction of $261,776.84. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 7,591 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $813,072.01. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of AXP. FMR LLC grew its holdings in shares of American Express by 49.5% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 24,583,840 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $2,343,332,000 after buying an additional 8,136,470 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its holdings in shares of American Express by 9,218.5% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 7,340,593 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $77,000 after buying an additional 7,261,819 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of American Express during the fourth quarter valued at about $643,757,000. Morgan Stanley grew its holdings in shares of American Express by 20.8% during the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 6,393,693 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $680,864,000 after buying an additional 1,098,834 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Samlyn Capital LLC grew its holdings in shares of American Express by 327.7% during the fourth quarter. Samlyn Capital LLC now owns 1,286,390 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $122,619,000 after buying an additional 985,591 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.95% of the company’s stock.

American Express Company Profile

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 three segments: Global Consumer Services Group, Global Commercial Services, and Global Merchant and Network Services.

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Analyst Recommendations for American Express (NYSE:AXP)

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