Empirical Financial Services LLC d.b.a. Empirical Wealth Management Invests $226,000 in American Express (NYSE:AXP)

Empirical Financial Services LLC d.b.a. Empirical Wealth Management acquired a new position in shares of American Express (NYSE:AXP) during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund acquired 1,369 shares of the payment services company’s stock, valued at approximately $226,000.

Several other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of AXP. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in American Express by 5.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 48,691,683 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $8,045,326,000 after acquiring an additional 2,355,868 shares during the period. Factorial Partners LLC increased its stake in American Express by 12,216.4% in the first quarter. Factorial Partners LLC now owns 2,192,320 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $15,500,000 after acquiring an additional 2,174,520 shares during the period. Ceredex Value Advisors LLC bought a new stake in American Express in the first quarter valued at about $120,866,000. Lazard Asset Management LLC increased its stake in American Express by 13.8% in the first quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 5,757,822 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $814,385,000 after acquiring an additional 698,321 shares during the period. Finally, Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. boosted its position in American Express by 251.1% in the first quarter. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. now owns 928,803 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $131,370,000 after buying an additional 664,240 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 84.62% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have commented on AXP. Daiwa Capital Markets lowered shares of American Express from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $180.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, August 12th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $160.00 price target on shares of American Express in a research report on Monday, June 7th. Stephens restated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $173.00 price target (up from $158.00) on shares of American Express in a research report on Monday, July 26th. Bank of America upgraded shares of American Express from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $169.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, September 16th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on shares of American Express from $135.00 to $151.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, July 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, the company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $167.72.

Shares of NYSE AXP opened at $175.72 on Monday. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $165.88 and its 200 day simple moving average is $159.53. American Express has a fifty-two week low of $89.11 and a fifty-two week high of $179.67. The firm has a market capitalization of $139.60 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.43, a P/E/G ratio of 0.90 and a beta of 1.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.46, a current ratio of 1.58 and a quick ratio of 1.58.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 22nd. The payment services company reported $2.80 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.64 by $1.16. American Express had a net margin of 18.72% and a return on equity of 26.15%. The business had revenue of $10.24 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.59 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.29 earnings per share. American Express’s revenue was up 33.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts expect that American Express will post 8.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Marc D. Gordon sold 13,424 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, September 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $159.24, for a total transaction of $2,137,637.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Jeffrey C. Campbell sold 74,677 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $170.48, for a total transaction of $12,730,934.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

American Express Company Profile

American Express Co engages in the provision of charge and credit card products and travel-related services. It operates through the following segments: Global Consumer Services Group, Global Commercial Services, Global Merchant and Network Services, and Corporate and Other. The Global Consumer Services Group segment issues a wide range of proprietary consumer cards globally.

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

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