American Express (NYSE:AXP) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest


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American Express (NYSE:AXP) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in October. As of October 30th, there was short interest totalling 7,870,000 shares, an increase of 12.9% from the October 15th total of 6,970,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 4,320,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.8 days. Approximately 1.0% of the company’s shares are sold short.

In related news, insider Anna Marrs sold 2,064 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.56, for a total value of $246,771.84. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Douglas E. Buckminster sold 14,827 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.85, for a total value of $1,435,994.95. Following the sale, the insider now owns 96,633 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,358,906.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AXP. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in American Express by 1.8% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 46,354,047 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $4,646,992,000 after purchasing an additional 816,309 shares during the period. Fisher Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of American Express by 4.1% during the second quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 14,608,262 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $1,390,707,000 after buying an additional 569,150 shares during the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its position in shares of American Express by 5.8% in the third quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 11,188,788 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $1,121,676,000 after acquiring an additional 617,636 shares during the period. Viking Global Investors LP grew its stake in shares of American Express by 170.7% in the second quarter. Viking Global Investors LP now owns 10,497,498 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $999,362,000 after acquiring an additional 6,619,218 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley grew its stake in shares of American Express by 1.7% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 8,662,806 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $868,446,000 after acquiring an additional 148,905 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.11% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts recently commented on the stock. UBS Group raised shares of American Express from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $90.00 to $116.00 in a research report on Tuesday, November 10th. Wolfe Research initiated coverage on shares of American Express in a research note on Friday, July 31st. They set an “outperform” rating for the company. TheStreet raised shares of American Express from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Friday, October 23rd. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft cut their price objective on American Express from $108.00 to $106.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, July 27th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on American Express from $96.00 to $100.00 in a research note on Monday, July 27th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $106.04.

AXP stock traded down $1.56 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $112.58. 3,702,955 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 5,440,563. American Express has a twelve month low of $67.00 and a twelve month high of $138.13. The stock has a market capitalization of $90.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.94, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 5.01 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a quick ratio of 1.47, a current ratio of 1.47 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.05. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $103.54 and a 200-day simple moving average of $98.83.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 23rd. The payment services company reported $1.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.39 by ($0.09). The firm had revenue of $8.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.71 billion. American Express had a return on equity of 21.31% and a net margin of 8.84%. American Express’s quarterly revenue was down 20.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.08 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that American Express will post 4.98 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, November 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 9th were given a $0.43 dividend. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.53%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, October 8th. American Express’s dividend payout ratio is currently 20.98%.

American Express Company Profile

American Express Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides charge and credit payment card products, and travel-related services worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Global Consumer Services Group, Global Commercial Services, and Global Merchant and Network Services. Its products and services include payment and financing products; network services; expense management products and services; and lifestyle services.

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