American Express Company (AXP) Plans Dividend Increase – $0.35 Per Share
American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) declared a quarterly dividend on Tuesday, September 26th, RTT News reports. Investors of record on Friday, October 6th will be paid a dividend of 0.35 per share by the payment services company on Friday, November 10th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.59%. This is an increase from American Express’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32.
American Express has increased its dividend payment by an average of 1.5% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend annually for the last 5 consecutive years. American Express has a payout ratio of 22.3% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Research analysts expect American Express to earn $6.41 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.28 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 20.0%.
American Express (NYSE:AXP) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 19th. The payment services company reported $1.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $8.31 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.20 billion. American Express had a net margin of 14.11% and a return on equity of 21.90%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $2.10 earnings per share.
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In other news, insider Susan Sobbott sold 6,000 shares of American Express stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.39, for a total transaction of $506,340.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Kenneth I. Chenault sold 789,503 shares of American Express stock in a transaction on Monday, July 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.62, for a total transaction of $66,807,743.86. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 889,836 shares in the company, valued at approximately $75,297,922.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 949,387 shares of company stock worth $80,451,099. Insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.
Several equities research analysts have issued reports on the stock. Credit Suisse Group restated a “sell” rating on shares of American Express in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. BidaskClub raised shares of American Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $84.00 target price on shares of American Express in a report on Thursday, June 1st. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $85.00 target price on shares of American Express in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $95.00 target price on shares of American Express and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, August 19th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. American Express presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $86.29.
American Express announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $4.40 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the payment services company to repurchase up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
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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