Utah Retirement Systems lifted its stake in American Express (NYSE:AXP) by 0.5% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 131,833 shares of the payment services company’s stock after purchasing an additional 600 shares during the period. Utah Retirement Systems’ holdings in American Express were worth $14,039,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of AXP. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in American Express by 2.4% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 45,176,984 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $4,810,897,000 after buying an additional 1,045,964 shares during the period. FMR LLC raised its stake in American Express by 71.6% during the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 16,447,370 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $1,751,481,000 after buying an additional 6,861,701 shares during the period. Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its stake in American Express by 2.4% during the 3rd quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 10,357,743 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $1,102,996,000 after buying an additional 246,871 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. raised its stake in American Express by 5.4% during the 2nd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 5,522,458 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $541,201,000 after buying an additional 282,496 shares during the period. Finally, Third Point LLC acquired a new stake in American Express during the 3rd quarter worth $532,450,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.88% of the company’s stock.

Shares of AXP traded down $4.72 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $107.64. The stock had a trading volume of 5,237,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,253,860. American Express has a twelve month low of $87.54 and a twelve month high of $114.55. The company has a market capitalization of $95.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.34, a P/E/G ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 1.06. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.58, a current ratio of 1.88 and a quick ratio of 1.88.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The payment services company reported $1.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.77 by $0.11. American Express had a return on equity of 31.26% and a net margin of 9.51%. The firm had revenue of $10.14 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.06 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.50 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts anticipate that American Express will post 7.38 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 4th will be paid a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.45%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 3rd. American Express’s dividend payout ratio is 26.58%.

AXP has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Nomura raised their price objective on American Express from $128.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 19th. BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on American Express from $106.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, October 19th. Stephens set a $131.00 price objective on American Express and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, October 20th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on American Express from $109.00 to $115.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 19th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co raised their price objective on American Express from $115.00 to $122.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, October 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $112.70.

In related news, insider Marc D. Gordon sold 25,948 shares of American Express stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.83, for a total value of $2,797,972.84. Following the sale, the insider now owns 33,111 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,570,359.13. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 12,500 shares of American Express stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.84, for a total value of $1,298,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 209,957 shares in the company, valued at approximately $21,801,934.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

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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 four segments: U.S. Consumer Services, International Consumer and Network Services, Global Commercial Services, and Global Merchant Services.

Further Reading: Why is insider trading harmful?

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

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