Washington Trust Bank continued to hold its stake in shares of American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 8,308 shares of the payment services company’s stock at the end of the second quarter. Washington Trust Bank’s holdings in American Express were worth $700,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of AXP. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of American Express by 2,686.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 44,177,867 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $3,494,913,000 after buying an additional 42,592,136 shares during the period. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its stake in shares of American Express by 21.7% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 17,198,787 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $1,360,596,000 after buying an additional 3,071,573 shares during the period. Tesco Pension Investment Ltd bought a new stake in shares of American Express during the first quarter worth about $137,325,000. OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its stake in shares of American Express by 40.1% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 3,627,184 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $286,946,000 after buying an additional 1,038,328 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in shares of American Express by 9.4% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 10,274,363 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $812,804,000 after buying an additional 879,569 shares during the period. 83.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of American Express Company (NYSE AXP) traded down 1.091% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $84.755. The stock had a trading volume of 1,392,123 shares. The company’s 50 day moving average is $84.67 and its 200 day moving average is $80.13. The company has a market cap of $74.92 billion, a PE ratio of 17.382 and a beta of 1.18. American Express Company has a 52-week low of $59.50 and a 52-week high of $86.67.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last announced its quarterly earnings data 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. American Express had a return on equity of 24.96% and a net margin of 15.80%. The company had revenue of $8.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.20 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $2.10 earnings per share. American Express’s revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that American Express Company will post $5.74 earnings per share for the current year.

American Express declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to repurchase $4.40 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the payment services company to buy up to 5.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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AXP has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $84.00 price target on shares of American Express in a report on Thursday, June 1st. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of American Express in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Instinet raised American Express from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price target for the company from $63.00 to $78.00 in a report on Thursday, April 27th. Nomura raised American Express from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price target for the company from $63.00 to $78.00 in a report on Thursday, April 27th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $75.00 price target on shares of American Express in a report on Saturday, April 22nd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $84.77.

In related 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 legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Kenneth I. Chenault sold 789,503 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.62, for a total value of $66,807,743.86. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 889,836 shares in the company, valued at approximately $75,297,922.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 948,287 shares of company stock worth $80,321,961. 0.67% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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).

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

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