American Express Company (AXP) Price Target Raised to $97.00 at Morgan Stanley

American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) had its price objective lifted by Morgan Stanley from $89.00 to $97.00 in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning. Morgan Stanley currently has an equal weight rating on the payment services company’s stock.

AXP has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Bank of America Corporation reissued a buy rating and issued a $102.00 price target on shares of American Express in a report on Monday, October 9th. BidaskClub downgraded American Express from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded American Express from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 30th. Buckingham Research initiated coverage on American Express in a report on Monday, October 2nd. They issued a neutral rating and a $92.00 price target for the company. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an outperform rating and issued a $100.00 price target (up previously from $99.00) on shares of American Express in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. American Express has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $90.66.

Shares of American Express (AXP) traded up 0.21% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $92.09. The stock had a trading volume of 4,442,193 shares. American Express has a one year low of $65.03 and a one year high of $93.29. The company has a market cap of $81.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.89 and a beta of 1.21. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $89.03 and a 200-day moving average of $83.45.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The payment services company reported $1.50 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.47 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $8.44 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.31 billion. American Express had a return on equity of 22.78% and a net margin of 14.48%. American Express’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.24 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that American Express will post $5.84 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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American Express announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to repurchase $4.40 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the payment services company to repurchase up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 10th. Investors of record on Friday, October 6th will be given a $0.35 dividend. This is a boost from American Express’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.52%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 5th. American Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 26.97%.

In related news, insider Susan Sobbott sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.39, for a total value of $506,340.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider James Peter Bush sold 10,230 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.55, for a total value of $926,326.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 953,636 shares of company stock worth $80,863,777. 0.67% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Mountain Pacific Investment Advisers Inc. ID acquired a new stake in American Express in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $202,000. Fisher Asset Management LLC increased its position in American Express by 2.7% in the 3rd quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 11,547,390 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $1,044,577,000 after acquiring an additional 300,042 shares during the period. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. increased its position in American Express by 26.0% in the 3rd quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 243,790 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $22,055,000 after acquiring an additional 50,236 shares during the period. Exane Derivatives increased its position in American Express by 7.5% in the 3rd quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 11,744 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $1,062,000 after acquiring an additional 819 shares during the period. Finally, Moloney Securities Asset Management LLC increased its position in American Express by 40.4% in the 3rd quarter. Moloney Securities Asset Management LLC now owns 10,419 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $943,000 after acquiring an additional 3,000 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.77% of the company’s stock.

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).

Analyst Recommendations for American Express (NYSE:AXP)

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