$8.73 Billion in Sales Expected for American Express Company (AXP) This Quarter

Wall Street analysts forecast that American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) will post $8.73 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Seven analysts have issued estimates for American Express’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $8.64 billion to $8.91 billion. American Express reported sales of $8.02 billion during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 8.9%. The firm is expected to issue its next earnings report after the market closes on Thursday, January 18th.

On average, analysts expect that American Express will report full year sales of $8.73 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $33.27 billion to $33.54 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the business will report sales of $35.66 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $35.21 billion to $35.96 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that cover American Express.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last released its quarterly earnings data 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. The firm had revenue of $8.44 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $8.31 billion. American Express had a return on equity of 22.73% and a net margin of 14.48%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.24 earnings per share.

A number of brokerages recently commented on AXP. Bank of America upped their target price on American Express from $102.00 to $106.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Jefferies Group restated an “in-line” rating and set a $93.00 target price (up previously from $85.00) on shares of American Express in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded American Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $107.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Wells Fargo & Co began coverage on American Express in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $105.00 target price for the company. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating and set a $98.00 target price on shares of American Express in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. American Express presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $96.68.

In other news, insider Anre D. Williams sold 30,761 shares of the stock in a transaction on 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 sale, the insider now directly owns 28,720 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,682,735.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider James Peter Bush sold 12,789 shares of the stock in a transaction on 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 in the company, valued at $9,199,522.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 442,869 shares of company stock valued at $42,823,869. 0.67% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA grew its stake in shares of American Express by 30.4% in the second quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA now owns 1,288 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $109,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation boosted its position in shares of American Express by 912.9% during the third quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 1,337 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 1,205 shares during the last quarter. Capital Analysts LLC purchased a new stake in shares of American Express during the second quarter valued at $115,000. MV Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of American Express by 3.5% during the second quarter. MV Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,448 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 49 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Westside Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of American Express by 0.5% during the second quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,536 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $129,000 after buying an additional 8 shares during the last quarter. 83.35% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

American Express (NYSE AXP) traded up $1.30 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $100.85. The stock had a trading volume of 3,122,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,948,333. The stock has a market capitalization of $87,420.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.47, a PEG ratio of 1.49 and a beta of 1.22. American Express has a 52-week low of $74.82 and a 52-week high of $101.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.31, a quick ratio of 1.90 and a current ratio of 1.90.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 5th will be issued a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 4th. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.39%. American Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 27.03%.

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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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