Wedbush Securities Inc. Sells 3,265 Shares of American Express Company (AXP)

Wedbush Securities Inc. cut its position in shares of American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) by 20.2% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 12,886 shares of the payment services company’s stock after selling 3,265 shares during the period. Wedbush Securities Inc.’s holdings in American Express were worth $1,019,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in AXP. SeaBridge Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of American Express during the first quarter worth $100,000. MCF Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of American Express by 0.5% in the first quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 1,282 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. SpiderRock Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of American Express during the first quarter worth $112,000. Capital Guardian Trust Co. raised its stake in shares of American Express by 23.6% in the fourth quarter. Capital Guardian Trust Co. now owns 1,717 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 328 shares during the period. Finally, Sowell Financial Services LLC acquired a new stake in shares of American Express during the fourth quarter worth $128,000. Institutional investors own 82.76% of the company’s stock.

American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) traded up 1.13% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $84.80. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,321,176 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $83.63 and a 200 day moving average of $79.62. American Express Company has a 52-week low of $59.50 and a 52-week high of $86.28. The firm has a market cap of $74.96 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.39 and a beta of 1.18.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The payment services company reported $1.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $8.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $8.20 billion. American Express had a return on equity of 21.90% and a net margin of 14.11%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $2.10 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that American Express Company will post $5.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

American Express declared that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $4.40 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the payment services company to reacquire up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, July 7th will be issued a $0.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, July 5th. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.51%. American Express’s payout ratio is currently 26.18%.

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A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on AXP. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “buy” rating and issued a $91.00 target price on shares of American Express in a research note on Monday, April 10th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $83.00 price objective (up from $82.00) on shares of American Express in a research report on Saturday, April 22nd. Instinet reiterated an “underperform” rating and issued a $80.00 price objective on shares of American Express in a research report on Thursday, June 29th. Barclays PLC reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $83.00 price objective on shares of American Express in a research report on Thursday, July 20th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $84.00 price objective on shares of American Express in a research report on Thursday, June 1st. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. American Express presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $84.77.

In other American Express news, EVP Marc D. Gordon sold 4,900 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.98, for a total value of $377,202.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Paul D. Fabara sold 5,981 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.88, for a total value of $513,648.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 895,176 shares of company stock worth $75,794,779. Corporate insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.

About American Express

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).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for American Express (NYSE:AXP)

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