New England Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) by 4.0% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 18,298 shares of the payment services company’s stock after buying an additional 700 shares during the period. New England Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in American Express were worth $1,448,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in AXP. SeaBridge Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of American Express during the first quarter valued at approximately $100,000. MCF Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of American Express by 0.5% in the first quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 1,282 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the last quarter. SpiderRock Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of American Express during the first quarter valued at approximately $112,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of 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 valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 138 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Westside Investment Management Inc. increased its position in shares of 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 valued at $119,000 after buying an additional 410 shares during the last quarter. 83.81% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of American Express Company (AXP) traded down 0.32% during trading on Friday, hitting $84.29. 3,078,650 shares of the company traded hands. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $84.79 and a 200 day moving average price of $80.22. American Express Company has a 52 week low of $59.50 and a 52 week high of $86.67. The company has a market capitalization of $74.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.29 and a beta of 1.18.

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

American Express announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $4.40 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the payment services company to reacquire up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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AXP has been the subject of several analyst reports. Guggenheim raised shares of American Express from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the company from $81.05 to $90.00 in a report on Tuesday, April 25th. BidaskClub raised shares of American Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 30th. Barclays PLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $83.00 price target on shares of American Express in a report on Thursday, July 20th. Stephens raised shares of American Express from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and raised their price target for the company from $70.00 to $82.00 in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $85.00 price target on shares of American Express in a report on Friday, April 28th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $84.77.

In related news, insider Anre D. Williams sold 53,111 shares of American Express stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.24, for a total transaction of $4,527,181.64. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 79,614 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,786,297.36. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Kenneth I. Chenault sold 789,503 shares of American Express stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.62, for a total transaction of $66,807,743.86. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 889,836 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $75,297,922.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 948,287 shares of company stock valued at $80,321,961 in the last 90 days. Company 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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