Zacks Investment Research Lowers American Express (AXP) to Sell
According to Zacks, “American Express’s shares have lost value in a year's time. It faces an increase in reward expenses, led by enhancements of its U.S. platinum products. Cost of card member services has been increasing over the past three years and it continued to elevate this year as well, reflecting higher engagement levels across its premium travel services. It has also been witnessing an increase in the provision of loan losses for the past two and a half years. Nevertheless, its solid market position, strength in card business and significant opportunities from the secular shift toward electronic payments are growth drivers. It continues to witness strong loan growth and credit metrics.”
Several other equities analysts have also commented on the stock. Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on shares of American Express from $113.00 to $111.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, January 8th. Wells Fargo & Co reduced their target price on shares of American Express from $122.00 to $115.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, January 3rd. Bank of America downgraded shares of American Express from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $125.00 to $115.00 in a research note on Wednesday, December 19th. Barclays set a $118.00 target price on shares of American Express and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, December 14th. Finally, William Blair reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of American Express in a research note on Friday, December 14th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $112.50.
American Express (NYSE:AXP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 18th. The payment services company reported $1.88 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.77 by $0.11. American Express had a net margin of 9.51% and a return on equity of 31.26%. The business had revenue of $10.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $10.06 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.50 earnings per share. American Express’s quarterly revenue was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts anticipate that American Express will post 7.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other news, Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 12,500 shares of the firm’s 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 sale, the chairman now directly owns 209,957 shares in the company, valued at approximately $21,801,934.88. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.20% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AXP. Ironwood Financial llc boosted its stake in American Express by 19.4% in the 4th quarter. Ironwood Financial llc now owns 731 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $70,000 after purchasing an additional 119 shares in the last quarter. Douglas Lane & Associates LLC raised its position in American Express by 1.4% during the 4th quarter. Douglas Lane & Associates LLC now owns 593,953 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $56,616,000 after buying an additional 8,201 shares during the last quarter. James Hambro & Partners purchased a new position in American Express during the 4th quarter worth approximately $383,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in American Express during the 4th quarter worth approximately $154,000. Finally, Evanson Asset Management LLC raised its position in American Express by 3.3% during the 4th quarter. Evanson Asset Management LLC now owns 3,706 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $353,000 after buying an additional 120 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.79% of the company’s stock.
About American Express
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.
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