Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. Purchases New Stake in American Express Company (AXP)
Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm purchased 3,370 shares of the payment services company’s stock, valued at approximately $284,000.
Several other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. MCF Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of American Express by 0.3% during the second quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 1,286 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $108,000 after purchasing an additional 4 shares during the last quarter. Appleton Partners Inc. MA lifted its position in shares of American Express by 0.3% during the second quarter. Appleton Partners Inc. MA now owns 2,658 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $224,000 after purchasing an additional 8 shares during the last quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC lifted its position in shares of American Express by 0.4% during the second quarter. Genovese Burford & Brothers Wealth & Retirement Plan Management LLC now owns 2,652 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $223,000 after purchasing an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co lifted its position in shares of American Express by 0.3% during the second quarter. Bath Savings Trust Co now owns 4,388 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $369,000 after purchasing an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Accredited Investors Inc. lifted its position in shares of American Express by 0.5% during the first quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. now owns 3,174 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $251,000 after purchasing an additional 15 shares during the last quarter. 82.78% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In related news, CEO Kenneth I. Chenault sold 789,503 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.62, for a total transaction of $66,807,743.86. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 889,836 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $75,297,922.32. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Susan Sobbott sold 6,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.39, for a total transaction of $506,340.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 959,617 shares of company stock valued at $81,377,425. Insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.
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American Express Company (AXP) opened at 91.01 on Thursday. The company’s 50 day moving average is $87.08 and its 200-day moving average is $82.41. American Express Company has a 1-year low of $59.50 and a 1-year high of $91.64. The firm has a market cap of $80.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.66 and a beta of 1.21.
American Express (NYSE:AXP) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The payment services company reported $1.47 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.03. American Express had a net margin of 14.11% and a return on equity of 21.90%. The company had revenue of $8.31 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.20 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $2.10 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that American Express Company will post $5.74 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 6th will be paid a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 5th. This is an increase from American Express’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.54%. American Express’s payout ratio is currently 26.18%.
American Express announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to buyback $4.40 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the payment services company to purchase up to 5.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
Several equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $79.00 price target on shares of American Express in a research report on Wednesday. Buckingham Research initiated coverage on shares of American Express in a report on Monday. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $92.00 target price on the stock. Barclays PLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $83.00 target price on shares of American Express in a report on Thursday, July 20th. BidaskClub raised shares of American Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of American Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $86.48.
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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