Avalon Advisors LLC bought a new position in American Express (NYSE:AXP) during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund bought 296,707 shares of the payment services company’s stock, valued at approximately $28,282,000.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Lido Advisors LLC lifted its stake in American Express by 6.0% in the fourth quarter. Lido Advisors LLC now owns 17,414 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $1,659,000 after purchasing an additional 981 shares during the last quarter. Mackay Shields LLC bought a new stake in American Express during the 4th quarter valued at $14,860,000. Dana Investment Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in American Express by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. Dana Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 289,655 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $27,610,000 after acquiring an additional 3,774 shares during the period. VisionPoint Advisory Group LLC bought a new stake in American Express during the 4th quarter valued at $299,000. Finally, Achmea Investment Management B.V. raised its holdings in American Express by 3.7% during the 4th quarter. Achmea Investment Management B.V. now owns 94,626 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $9,020,000 after acquiring an additional 3,410 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.07% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:AXP opened at $113.52 on Friday. American Express has a 52-week low of $89.05 and a 52-week high of $114.55. The firm has a market capitalization of $95.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.49, a P/E/G ratio of 1.29 and a beta of 1.11. The company has a quick ratio of 1.93, a current ratio of 1.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.62.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, January 17th. The payment services company reported $1.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.80 by ($0.06). American Express had a return on equity of 30.35% and a net margin of 17.08%. The company had revenue of $10.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.58 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts predict that American Express will post 8.16 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 5th will be given a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 4th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.37%. American Express’s payout ratio is 21.28%.

In other American Express news, Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 12,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.02, for a total transaction of $1,287,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Richard Petrino sold 2,444 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.11, for a total transaction of $261,776.84. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 7,591 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $813,072.01. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

AXP has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Bank of America set a $108.00 target price on shares of American Express and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 18th. Atlantic Securities raised shares of American Express from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $100.80 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 29th. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of American Express from $113.00 to $111.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 8th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of American Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 16th. Finally, William Blair reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of American Express in a report on Friday, December 14th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $111.66.

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American Express Company Profile

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 three segments: Global Consumer Services Group, Global Commercial Services, and Global Merchant and Network Services.

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

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