LS Investment Advisors LLC Reduces Stake in American Express Company (AXP)

LS Investment Advisors LLC lowered its position in shares of American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) by 2.7% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 24,879 shares of the payment services company’s stock after selling 690 shares during the period. LS Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in American Express were worth $2,096,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. SeaBridge Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of American Express during the first quarter worth $100,000. MCF Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of American Express by 0.5% in the first quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 1,282 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 6 shares in the last quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA raised its position in shares of American Express by 30.4% in the second quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA now owns 1,288 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the period. SpiderRock Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of American Express during the first quarter valued at $112,000. Finally, SRS Capital Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of American Express by 10.3% in the first quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,476 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 138 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.86% of the company’s stock.

American Express Company (NYSE AXP) traded down 0.82% on Friday, reaching $85.38. 4,271,186 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $75.47 billion, a PE ratio of 17.51 and a beta of 1.18. American Express Company has a 52-week low of $59.50 and a 52-week high of $87.78. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $85.23 and its 200 day moving average price is $80.55.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The payment services company reported $1.47 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm had revenue of $8.31 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.20 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $2.10 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly 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.

American Express announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $4.40 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the payment services company to buy up to 5.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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Several research analysts recently weighed in on AXP shares. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $84.00 target price on shares of American Express in a research report on Thursday, June 1st. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of American Express in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Guggenheim restated a “buy” rating and set a $95.00 target price (up from $90.00) on shares of American Express in a research note on Saturday, July 22nd. BidaskClub downgraded American Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Finally, Instinet upgraded American Express from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their target price for the company from $63.00 to $78.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 27th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $84.77.

In other news, CEO Kenneth I. Chenault sold 789,503 shares of the stock in a transaction 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 owns 889,836 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $75,297,922.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Marc D. Gordon sold 4,900 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.98, for a total transaction of $377,202.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 948,287 shares of company stock valued at $80,321,961 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.

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).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for American Express (NYSE:AXP)

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