Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd. Increases Holdings in American Express Company (AXP)

Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd. raised its stake in American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) by 3.3% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 50,452 shares of the payment services company’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,625 shares during the period. Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd.’s holdings in American Express were worth $4,250,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Matthew Goff Investment Advisor LLC bought a new stake in American Express in the 1st quarter valued at $2,543,000. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in American Express by 1.5% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 49,502,529 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $3,916,145,000 after acquiring an additional 722,235 shares during the last quarter. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in American Express by 19.5% in the 1st quarter. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. now owns 641,409 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $50,742,000 after acquiring an additional 104,647 shares during the last quarter. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. bought a new stake in American Express in the 2nd quarter valued at $215,000. Finally, Trust Co. of Vermont increased its holdings in American Express by 5.0% in the 1st quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 17,289 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $1,367,000 after acquiring an additional 819 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 82.77% of the company’s stock.

Shares of American Express Company (NYSE AXP) opened at 92.08 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $81.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.88 and a beta of 1.21. The company’s 50-day moving average is $88.85 and its 200-day moving average is $83.39. American Express Company has a one year low of $64.75 and a one year high of $92.92.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 18th. The payment services company reported $1.50 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.47 by $0.03. American Express had a net margin of 14.11% and a return on equity of 21.90%. The business had revenue of $8.44 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $8.31 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.24 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that American Express Company will post $5.74 EPS for the current year.

American Express declared that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to repurchase $4.40 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the payment services company to buy up to 5.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board 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 paid a $0.35 dividend. This is a positive change from American Express’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 5th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.52%. American Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 28.63%.

In other news, insider Paul D. Fabara sold 5,981 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.88, for a total value of $513,648.28. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Vice Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 94,792 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 directly owns 261,665 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $22,348,807.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 959,617 shares of company stock valued at $81,377,425. Insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts have issued reports on the stock. Compass Point downgraded shares of American Express from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Buckingham Research began 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 for the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $95.00 price objective on shares of American Express and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 19th. BidaskClub raised shares of American Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $94.00 price objective (up from $87.00) on shares of American Express in a research note on Saturday, July 22nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $87.69.

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American Express Company 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).

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

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