American Express (NYSE:AXP) was the target of a significant growth in short interest during the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 6,970,000 shares, a growth of 10.1% from the September 30th total of 6,330,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 3,280,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.1 days. Currently, 0.9% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

Several research firms have recently commented on AXP. Wells Fargo & Co set a $140.00 price target on shares of American Express and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 21st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $122.00 target price on shares of American Express and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 8th. Oppenheimer set a $126.00 target price on shares of American Express and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 21st. Royal Bank of Canada raised their target price on shares of American Express from $120.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Monday, July 22nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of American Express from $142.00 to $149.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 29th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $124.96.

NYSE:AXP traded down $0.17 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $120.76. 1,935,079 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,740,750. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.54, a current ratio of 1.86 and a quick ratio of 1.86. The firm has a market cap of $98.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.47, a PEG ratio of 1.41 and a beta of 1.05. American Express has a 52-week low of $89.05 and a 52-week high of $129.34. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $117.72 and a 200 day simple moving average of $120.63.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 18th. The payment services company reported $2.08 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.07 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $10.99 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.94 billion. American Express had a net margin of 16.51% and a return on equity of 29.68%. American Express’s revenue was up 8.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.88 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that American Express will post 8.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a 0.39000 dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 4th were paid a dividend of $0.43 per share. This represents a yield of 1.3%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, October 3rd. American Express’s dividend payout ratio is currently 23.47%.

In other news, CEO Stephen J. Squeri sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.33, for a total value of $1,774,950.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 199,609 shares in the company, valued at $23,619,732.97. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Theodore Leonsis sold 8,420 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $116.44, for a total transaction of $980,424.80. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 11,580 shares in the company, valued at $1,348,375.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 25,820 shares of company stock worth $3,039,511 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its stake in American Express by 19.8% during the third quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 13,605,412 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $1,609,248,000 after purchasing an additional 2,252,720 shares during the period. Magellan Asset Management Ltd raised its stake in shares of American Express by 212,845.6% in the 2nd quarter. Magellan Asset Management Ltd now owns 9,580,424 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $1,182,608,000 after acquiring an additional 9,575,925 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of American Express by 1,759.0% in the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 6,961,641 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $859,345,000 after acquiring an additional 6,587,148 shares during the period. Parnassus Investments CA raised its stake in shares of American Express by 1.4% in the 3rd quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 6,193,957 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $732,621,000 after acquiring an additional 85,419 shares during the period. Finally, Invesco Ltd. raised its stake in shares of American Express by 5.9% in the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 5,706,357 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $704,392,000 after acquiring an additional 319,389 shares during the period. 84.72% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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