American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) had its price target decreased by Morgan Stanley from $90.00 to $89.00 in a note issued to investors on Friday. The brokerage currently has an “equal weight” rating on the payment services company’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 5.64% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered American Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 30th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $95.00 price target on American Express and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 19th. BidaskClub raised American Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $100.00 price target (up previously from $99.00) on shares of American Express in a research report on Saturday, July 22nd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $85.00 price target on shares of American Express in a research report on Saturday, July 22nd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $85.36.

American Express (NYSE AXP) traded down 0.19% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $84.25. 3,457,989 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a market cap of $74.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.28 and a beta of 1.18. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $85.44 and its 200 day moving average is $81.24. American Express has a 52-week low of $59.50 and a 52-week high of $87.78. American Express also was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Thursday. Traders purchased 9,027 put options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 153% compared to the average daily volume of 3,574 put options.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The payment services company reported $1.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the 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 return on equity of 21.90% and a net margin of 14.11%. American Express’s quarterly revenue was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.10 EPS. Equities analysts predict that American Express will post $5.74 EPS for the current fiscal year.

American Express declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback 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 purchase up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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In related news, CEO Kenneth I. Chenault sold 789,503 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.62, for a total value of $66,807,743.86. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 889,836 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $75,297,922.32. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Vice Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 94,792 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.41, for a total value of $8,096,184.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 261,665 shares in the company, valued at $22,348,807.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 943,387 shares of company stock valued at $79,944,759. 0.67% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. MCF Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in American Express by 0.5% in the 1st quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 1,282 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 6 shares in the last quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA lifted its holdings in American Express by 30.4% in the 2nd quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA now owns 1,288 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $109,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. SpiderRock Advisors LLC purchased a new position in American Express in the 1st quarter worth approximately $112,000. Capital Analysts LLC purchased a new position in American Express in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $115,000. Finally, SRS Capital Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in American Express by 10.3% in the 1st quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,476 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $116,000 after purchasing an additional 138 shares in the last quarter. 82.80% of the stock is currently 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).

Analyst Recommendations for American Express (NYSE:AXP)

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