Traders Sell Shares of American Express (AXP) on Strength (AXP)

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Traders sold shares of American Express (NYSE:AXP) on strength during trading hours on Friday. $127.94 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $198.84 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $70.90 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, American Express had the 20th highest net out-flow for the day. American Express traded up $1.91 for the day and closed at $113.67

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Bank of America reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $108.00 target price on shares of American Express in a report on Thursday, March 14th. Oppenheimer set a $119.00 target price on American Express and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. DZ Bank downgraded American Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, March 21st. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $125.00 target price (up previously from $115.00) on shares of American Express in a report on Tuesday, March 12th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $93.00 target price on shares of American Express in a report on Friday, January 18th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $112.11.

The company has a market cap of $95.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.51, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.27 and a beta of 1.11. The company has a quick ratio of 1.93, a current ratio of 1.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.62.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 18th. The payment services company reported $2.01 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.00 by $0.01. American Express had a return on equity of 30.35% and a net margin of 17.08%. The company had revenue of $10.36 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.46 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.86 EPS. American Express’s revenue was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that American Express will post 8.17 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, April 5th will be paid a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.37%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 4th. American Express’s payout ratio is 21.28%.

In other news, Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 12,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.02, for a total value of $1,287,750.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Richard Petrino sold 2,444 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.11, for a total value of $261,776.84. Following the completion of 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. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. FMR LLC raised its position in American Express by 49.5% during the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 24,583,840 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $2,343,332,000 after purchasing an additional 8,136,470 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its position in American Express by 9,218.5% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 7,340,593 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $77,000 after purchasing an additional 7,261,819 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in American Express during the 4th quarter worth $643,757,000. Morgan Stanley raised its position in American Express by 20.8% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 6,393,693 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $680,864,000 after purchasing an additional 1,098,834 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Samlyn Capital LLC raised its position in American Express by 327.7% during the 4th quarter. Samlyn Capital LLC now owns 1,286,390 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $122,619,000 after purchasing an additional 985,591 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 84.86% of the company’s stock.

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About American Express (NYSE:AXP)

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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