Balentine LLC cut its position in American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) by 5.8% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 9,192 shares of the payment services company’s stock after selling 565 shares during the period. American Express accounts for about 0.1% of Balentine LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 28th largest position. Balentine LLC’s holdings in American Express were worth $727,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. MCF Advisors LLC increased its position in 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 purchased a new position in American Express during the first quarter worth approximately $112,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. increased its position in American Express by 10.3% in the first quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,476 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 138 shares during the period. Westside Investment Management Inc. increased its position in American Express by 36.7% in the first quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,528 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $119,000 after buying an additional 410 shares during the period. Finally, Clean Yield Group purchased a new position in American Express during the first quarter worth approximately $175,000. 82.78% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of American Express Company (NYSE AXP) traded up 0.461% on Thursday, reaching $86.085. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,281,725 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $76.10 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.655 and a beta of 1.18. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $85.32 and a 200 day moving average of $80.84. American Express Company has a 52 week low of $59.50 and a 52 week high of $87.78.

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

American Express announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program 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 reacquire 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 stock is undervalued.

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A number of equities analysts have recently commented on the company. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $95.00 price objective on American Express and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, August 19th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded American Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday. BidaskClub upgraded American Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $94.00 price objective (up from $87.00) on shares of American Express in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. Finally, Instinet restated an “underperform” rating and issued a $80.00 price objective on shares of American Express in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $85.20.

In related news, insider Anre D. Williams sold 53,111 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.24, for a total value of $4,527,181.64. Following the sale, the insider now owns 79,614 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,786,297.36. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Kenneth I. Chenault sold 789,503 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.62, for a total transaction of $66,807,743.86. Following the completion of the sale, 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 ninety days, insiders have sold 943,387 shares of company stock worth $79,944,759. 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).

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

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