BLB&B Advisors LLC Increases Holdings in American Express (AXP)

BLB&B Advisors LLC raised its stake in American Express (NYSE:AXP) by 15.0% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 18,046 shares of the payment services company’s stock after buying an additional 2,358 shares during the quarter. BLB&B Advisors LLC’s holdings in American Express were worth $1,922,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. FMR LLC raised its holdings in shares of American Express by 969.9% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 9,585,669 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $939,396,000 after purchasing an additional 8,689,714 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in shares of American Express in the second quarter valued at approximately $127,567,000. Millennium Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of American Express by 84.3% in the second quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 2,329,094 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $228,251,000 after purchasing an additional 1,065,461 shares during the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of American Express by 380.8% in the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 797,277 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $18,049,000 after purchasing an additional 631,457 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of American Express by 1.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 44,131,020 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $4,324,840,000 after purchasing an additional 626,323 shares during the last quarter. 82.85% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, major shareholder Ventures Fund Vii L.P. Vivo acquired 20,142,123 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 30th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $0.17 per share, for a total transaction of $3,424,160.91. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Jeffrey C. Campbell sold 9,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.73, for a total transaction of $897,570.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 66,568 shares in the company, valued at $6,638,826.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 47,448 shares of company stock worth $4,942,168. Corporate insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts have recently issued reports on AXP shares. DZ Bank upgraded shares of American Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 20th. UBS Group upgraded shares of American Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 20th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of American Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $120.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday. Buckingham Research upgraded shares of American Express from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $111.00 to $112.00 in a report on Friday, June 29th. Finally, Oppenheimer set a $113.00 price objective on shares of American Express and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. American Express has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $109.98.

Shares of AXP opened at $103.00 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $91.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.55, a PEG ratio of 1.47 and a beta of 1.16. American Express has a 1-year low of $87.54 and a 1-year high of $111.77. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.67, a quick ratio of 1.92 and a current ratio of 1.92.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 18th. The payment services company reported $1.84 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.83 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $10 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.05 billion. American Express had a net margin of 9.23% and a return on equity of 30.08%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.47 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that American Express will post 7.24 earnings per share for the current year.

American Express declared that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, June 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $3.40 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the payment services company to purchase up to 4.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 5th will be issued a $0.39 dividend. This is an increase from American Express’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.35. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.51%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 4th. American Express’s payout ratio is currently 26.58%.

American Express Company Profile

American Express Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to consumers and businesses worldwide. It operates through four segments: U.S. Consumer Services, International Consumer and Network Services, Global Commercial Services, and Global Merchant Services.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for American Express (NYSE:AXP)

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