American Express (NYSE:AXP) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Stock traders purchased 54,350 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 2,368% compared to the typical daily volume of 2,202 call options.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) traded down $0.22 during trading on Monday, hitting $99.41. 3,462,409 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,630,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.11, a current ratio of 2.37 and a quick ratio of 1.90. American Express has a fifty-two week low of $75.51 and a fifty-two week high of $102.39. The stock has a market capitalization of $86,290.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.25, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 1.22.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The payment services company reported $1.58 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.54 by $0.04. American Express had a net margin of 8.08% and a return on equity of 26.07%. The company had revenue of $8.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.73 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.91 earnings per share. American Express’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that American Express will post 7.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 5th will be paid a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 4th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.41%. American Express’s dividend payout ratio is currently 46.82%.

In related news, insider Susan Sobbott sold 5,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.34, for a total transaction of $518,870.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Michael John O’neill sold 43,741 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $98.85, for a total transaction of $4,323,797.85. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 43,731 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,322,809.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 408,912 shares of company stock worth $39,645,521 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Sowell Financial Services LLC purchased a new position in shares of American Express during the fourth quarter worth approximately $838,000. BB&T Corp grew its position in shares of American Express by 86.2% during the fourth quarter. BB&T Corp now owns 103,395 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $10,268,000 after acquiring an additional 47,877 shares during the last quarter. Welch & Forbes LLC grew its position in shares of American Express by 5.0% during the fourth quarter. Welch & Forbes LLC now owns 66,204 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $6,575,000 after acquiring an additional 3,158 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Partners LLC grew its position in shares of American Express by 5.3% during the fourth quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 18,947 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $1,857,000 after acquiring an additional 961 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Waldron LP purchased a new position in shares of American Express during the fourth quarter worth approximately $208,000. Institutional investors own 83.57% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on AXP shares. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $116.00 target price on shares of American Express in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Bank of America set a $128.00 target price on shares of American Express and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, December 18th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $79.00 price objective on shares of American Express in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Deutsche Bank assumed coverage on shares of American Express in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $118.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Atlantic Securities raised shares of American Express from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $100.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $101.08.

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American Express Company Profile

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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