Diligent Investors LLC trimmed its position in shares of American Express (NYSE:AXP) by 8.0% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 3,351 shares of the payment services company’s stock after selling 293 shares during the period. Diligent Investors LLC’s holdings in American Express were worth $319,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Evanson Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of American Express by 3.3% in the 4th quarter. Evanson Asset Management LLC now owns 3,706 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $353,000 after buying an additional 120 shares in the last quarter. Ipswich Investment Management Co. Inc. boosted its stake in shares of American Express by 1.7% during the 4th quarter. Ipswich Investment Management Co. Inc. now owns 9,026 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $860,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares during the period. CENTRAL TRUST Co boosted its stake in shares of American Express by 0.4% during the 4th quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 42,372 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $4,039,000 after purchasing an additional 164 shares during the period. Boston Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of American Express by 1.0% during the 4th quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 21,796 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $2,078,000 after purchasing an additional 220 shares during the period. Finally, First Midwest Bank Trust Division boosted its stake in shares of American Express by 3.8% during the 4th quarter. First Midwest Bank Trust Division now owns 7,988 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $761,000 after purchasing an additional 289 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.79% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE AXP opened at $99.49 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.88, a current ratio of 1.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.58. American Express has a 52 week low of $87.54 and a 52 week high of $114.55. The stock has a market capitalization of $84.92 billion, a PE ratio of 16.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 1.14.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 18th. The payment services company reported $1.88 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.77 by $0.11. American Express had a net margin of 9.51% and a return on equity of 31.26%. The company had revenue of $10.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.06 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.50 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts predict that American Express will post 7.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 4th will be given a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.57%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 3rd. American Express’s payout ratio is 26.58%.

In related news, Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 12,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.84, for a total value of $1,298,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 209,957 shares in the company, valued at approximately $21,801,934.88. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

AXP has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Bank of America set a $125.00 price target on shares of American Express and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 19th. Nomura lifted their price target on shares of American Express from $128.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 19th. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $114.00 price target on shares of American Express in a research note on Thursday, October 18th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of American Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $120.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 9th. Finally, Stephens set a $131.00 price target on shares of American Express and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, October 20th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. American Express currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $112.50.

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About American Express

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 four segments: U.S. Consumer Services, International Consumer and Network Services, Global Commercial Services, and Global Merchant Services.

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

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