American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) – Investment analysts at Jefferies Group cut their FY2017 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of American Express in a research note issued on Wednesday. Jefferies Group analyst J. Hecht now forecasts that the payment services company will post earnings per share of $5.85 for the year, down from their previous forecast of $5.86. Jefferies Group has a “Hold” rating and a $93.35 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for American Express’ Q4 2017 earnings at $1.54 EPS, Q1 2018 earnings at $1.83 EPS and FY2018 earnings at $7.60 EPS.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The payment services company reported $1.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.47 by $0.03. American Express had a net margin of 14.48% and a return on equity of 22.73%. The company had revenue of $8.44 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.31 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.24 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on AXP. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of American Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of American Express from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday. Barclays set a $119.00 price target on shares of American Express and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and set a $103.00 price target on shares of American Express in a research note on Monday. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co restated an “outperform” rating and set a $115.00 price target (up previously from $105.00) on shares of American Express in a research note on Tuesday. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $98.96.

Shares of American Express (AXP) opened at $100.73 on Friday. American Express has a 12-month low of $75.39 and a 12-month high of $101.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.31, a current ratio of 1.90 and a quick ratio of 1.90. The stock has a market cap of $87,430.00, a P/E ratio of 19.45, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.49 and a beta of 1.22.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA grew its position in shares of American Express by 30.4% during 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 buying an additional 300 shares during the period. Capital Analysts LLC acquired a new stake in shares of American Express during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $115,000. Zions Bancorporation grew its position in shares of American Express by 912.9% during the 3rd quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 1,337 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $121,000 after buying an additional 1,205 shares during the period. MV Capital Management Inc. grew its position in shares of American Express by 3.5% during the 2nd quarter. MV Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,448 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $122,000 after buying an additional 49 shares during the period. Finally, Westside Investment Management Inc. grew its position in shares of American Express by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,536 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $129,000 after buying an additional 8 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.35% of the company’s stock.

In related news, insider Anre D. Williams sold 30,761 shares of American Express stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.41, for a total transaction of $2,873,385.01. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 28,720 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,682,735.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Linda Zukauckas sold 3,196 shares of American Express stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $95.42, for a total transaction of $304,962.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 442,869 shares of company stock valued at $42,823,869 over the last three months. 0.67% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 9th. Investors of record on Friday, January 5th will be issued a dividend of $0.35 per share. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.39%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 4th. American Express’s dividend payout ratio is currently 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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