American Express (NYSE:AXP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $111.00 price target on the payment services company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 10.06% from the company’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “Shares of American Express have outperformed the industry in a year's time. The company continues to witness strong loan growth and credit metrics, plus lower operating costs. A solid market position, strength in card business and significant opportunities from the secular shift toward electronic payments are growth drivers. Strategic initiatives focusing on the platinum card portfolio and the OptBlue program will drive business volume. Cost reduction and return of significant capital to shareholders through dividend and share buyback are also positives. However, an increase in provision for losses, high rewards expense and cost of card member services are the other headwinds.”
A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on AXP. Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on American Express from $90.00 to $89.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, September 8th. Buckingham Research started coverage on American Express in a report on Monday, October 2nd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $92.00 price target on the stock. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “sell” rating and set a $79.00 price target on shares of American Express in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Bank of America reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $102.00 price target on shares of American Express in a report on Monday, October 9th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co started coverage on American Express in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $105.00 price target on the stock. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. American Express currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $96.68.
American Express (NYSE:AXP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The payment services company reported $1.50 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.47 by $0.03. American Express had a return on equity of 22.73% and a net margin of 14.48%. The business had revenue of $8.44 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.31 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.24 earnings per share. American Express’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts expect that American Express will post 5.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other American Express news, insider Anre D. Williams sold 30,761 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.41, for a total value of $2,873,385.01. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 28,720 shares in the company, valued at $2,682,735.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider James Peter Bush sold 12,789 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.45, for a total value of $1,271,866.05. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 92,504 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,199,522.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 442,869 shares of company stock worth $42,823,869 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in AXP. Lazard Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of American Express by 117.3% in the first quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 597,830 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $47,293,000 after buying an additional 322,742 shares during the last quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. lifted its position in shares of American Express by 32.4% in the first quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. now owns 7,564 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $598,000 after buying an additional 1,850 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of American Express by 2,686.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 44,177,867 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $3,494,913,000 after buying an additional 42,592,136 shares during the last quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of American Express in the first quarter worth about $23,057,000. Finally, Amalgamated Bank lifted its position in shares of American Express by 1.9% in the first quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 53,485 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $4,231,000 after buying an additional 994 shares during the last quarter. 83.35% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
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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