Country Trust Bank increased its holdings in American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) by 9.0% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 435,371 shares of the payment services company’s stock after purchasing an additional 35,874 shares during the period. American Express accounts for 1.8% of Country Trust Bank’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 18th biggest position. Country Trust Bank’s holdings in American Express were worth $39,384,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Forsta AP Fonden grew its position in shares of American Express by 7.5% in the third quarter. Forsta AP Fonden now owns 33,113 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $2,995,000 after purchasing an additional 2,300 shares during the period. Morse Asset Management Inc grew its position in shares of American Express by 2.2% in the third quarter. Morse Asset Management Inc now owns 33,150 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $2,999,000 after purchasing an additional 700 shares during the period. Csenge Advisory Group purchased a new stake in shares of American Express in the third quarter valued at $539,000. Syntal Capital Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of American Express in the third quarter valued at $785,000. Finally, Andra AP fonden grew its position in shares of American Express by 27.0% in the third quarter. Andra AP fonden now owns 53,700 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $4,858,000 after purchasing an additional 11,400 shares during the period. 83.51% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other American Express news, EVP Michael John O’neill sold 43,741 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.85, for a total transaction of $4,323,797.85. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 43,731 shares in the company, valued at $4,322,809.35. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Linda Zukauckas sold 3,196 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $95.42, for a total value of $304,962.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 343,870 shares of company stock worth $33,094,717. 0.67% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

AXP has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Bank of America reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $102.00 price objective on shares of American Express in a research report on Monday, October 9th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded American Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $96.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, August 29th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $95.00 target price on American Express and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, August 19th. Oppenheimer set a $99.00 target price on American Express and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on American Express from $90.00 to $89.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, September 8th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $91.56.

Shares of American Express Company (AXP) traded down $0.63 on Friday, hitting $97.15. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,464,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,593,644. The firm has a market capitalization of $84,872.67, a PE ratio of 18.73, a PEG ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.22. American Express Company has a 12 month low of $73.50 and a 12 month high of $99.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.31, a quick ratio of 1.90 and a current ratio of 1.90.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 18th. The payment services company reported $1.50 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.47 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $8.44 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.31 billion. American Express had a return on equity of 22.73% and a net margin of 14.48%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.24 earnings per share. analysts predict that American Express Company will post 5.86 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 5th will be paid a dividend of $0.35 per share. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.44%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 4th. American Express’s dividend payout ratio is presently 26.97%.

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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).

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

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