Louisiana State Employees Retirement System lowered its position in shares of American Express (NYSE:AXP) by 0.2% in the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 40,400 shares of the payment services company’s stock after selling 100 shares during the quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System’s holdings in American Express were worth $5,714,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Gofen & Glossberg LLC IL lifted its holdings in shares of American Express by 0.4% during the first quarter. Gofen & Glossberg LLC IL now owns 388,571 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $54,960,000 after buying an additional 1,399 shares in the last quarter. Baxter Bros Inc. raised its stake in American Express by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Baxter Bros Inc. now owns 69,901 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $8,452,000 after purchasing an additional 1,569 shares in the last quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. raised its stake in American Express by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 235,872 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $28,519,000 after purchasing an additional 7,449 shares in the last quarter. Nixon Capital LLC acquired a new position in American Express in the fourth quarter valued at about $10,974,000. Finally, KCS Wealth Advisory raised its stake in American Express by 5.1% in the fourth quarter. KCS Wealth Advisory now owns 5,664 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $685,000 after purchasing an additional 276 shares in the last quarter. 83.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
In related news, insider Anre D. Williams sold 59,352 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $145.88, for a total value of $8,658,269.76. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 85,522 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,475,949.36. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Douglas E. Buckminster sold 32,833 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $146.08, for a total value of $4,796,244.64. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 111,247 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,250,961.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.
American Express (NYSE:AXP) last posted its earnings results on Monday, January 25th. The payment services company reported $1.76 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.26 by $0.50. American Express had a return on equity of 21.31% and a net margin of 8.84%. The company had revenue of $9.35 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.32 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $2.03 earnings per share. American Express’s quarterly revenue was down 17.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that American Express will post 4.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a special dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.43 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 31st. This represents a yield of 1.2%. American Express’s dividend payout ratio is presently 20.98%.
A number of research analysts have issued reports on the company. DZ Bank upgraded American Express from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, January 28th. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on American Express from $165.00 to $166.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 1st. Oppenheimer cut their price target on American Express from $136.00 to $128.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, January 27th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded American Express from an “underweight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $148.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, January 19th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut American Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $138.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Monday, February 22nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $122.38.
About American Express
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; accounts payable expense management products and services; and travel and lifestyle services.
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