Wesbanco Bank Inc. increased its holdings in American Express (NYSE:AXP) by 2.3% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 4,458 shares of the payment services company’s stock after buying an additional 100 shares during the quarter. Wesbanco Bank Inc.’s holdings in American Express were worth $425,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Capital Investment Advisory Services LLC purchased a new stake in shares of American Express in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $37,000. Vigilant Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in American Express in the fourth quarter worth approximately $38,000. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. grew its position in American Express by 187.7% in the fourth quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 446 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $43,000 after acquiring an additional 291 shares during the period. Financial Advantage Inc. purchased a new position in American Express in the fourth quarter worth approximately $64,000. Finally, Ironwood Financial llc grew its position in American Express by 19.4% in the fourth quarter. Ironwood Financial llc now owns 731 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $70,000 after acquiring an additional 119 shares during the period. 83.70% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Several research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Wells Fargo & Co lowered their price objective on American Express from $122.00 to $115.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, January 3rd. Bank of America set a $125.00 price objective on American Express and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 19th. Buckingham Research lowered American Express from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $112.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Thursday, November 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research lowered American Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 3rd. Finally, Atlantic Securities upgraded American Express from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $100.80 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $110.99.
American Express (NYSE:AXP) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 17th. The payment services company reported $1.74 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.80 by ($0.06). American Express had a return on equity of 30.45% and a net margin of 17.08%. The firm had revenue of $10.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.54 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.58 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts expect that American Express will post 8.13 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, January 4th were given a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, January 3rd. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.44%. American Express’s dividend payout ratio is currently 21.28%.
In other news, Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 12,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.02, for a total value of $1,287,750.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.20% of the company’s stock.
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About American Express
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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