WMS Partners LLC Reduces Position in American Express (NYSE:AXP)

WMS Partners LLC lowered its stake in shares of American Express (NYSE:AXP) by 20.7% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 7,289 shares of the payment services company’s stock after selling 1,900 shares during the period. WMS Partners LLC’s holdings in American Express were worth $695,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. National Pension Service increased its holdings in shares of American Express by 6.0% in the fourth quarter. National Pension Service now owns 718,817 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $76,640,000 after purchasing an additional 40,569 shares during the period. M Holdings Securities Inc. increased its holdings in shares of American Express by 6.0% in the fourth quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. now owns 3,484 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $332,000 after purchasing an additional 198 shares during the period. Covington Capital Management increased its holdings in shares of American Express by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Covington Capital Management now owns 23,943 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $2,282,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the period. Hancock Whitney Corp increased its holdings in shares of American Express by 35.8% in the fourth quarter. Hancock Whitney Corp now owns 25,975 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $2,476,000 after purchasing an additional 6,854 shares during the period. Finally, British Airways Pensions Investment Management Ltd bought a new position in shares of American Express in the fourth quarter worth $13,564,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.86% of the company’s stock.

In related news, Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 12,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.02, for a total value of $1,287,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Richard Petrino sold 2,444 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.11, for a total transaction of $261,776.84. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 7,591 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $813,072.01. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

AXP has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Bank of America set a $108.00 price target on shares of American Express and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 18th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $93.00 target price on shares of American Express in a research note on Friday, January 18th. Zacks Investment Research cut American Express from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 16th. Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on American Express from $113.00 to $111.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, January 8th. Finally, DZ Bank cut American Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 21st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $111.80.

NYSE AXP traded down $0.38 during trading on Monday, hitting $110.53. 2,190,213 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,554,025. The company has a quick ratio of 1.93, a current ratio of 1.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.62. American Express has a 12-month low of $89.05 and a 12-month high of $114.55. The firm has a market cap of $92.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.08, a PEG ratio of 1.26 and a beta of 1.11.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 17th. The payment services company reported $1.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.80 by ($0.06). The business had revenue of $10.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.54 billion. American Express had a net margin of 17.08% and a return on equity of 30.35%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.58 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that American Express will post 8.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, April 5th will be issued a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 4th. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.41%. American Express’s dividend payout ratio is currently 21.28%.

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American Express Company Profile

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 three segments: Global Consumer Services Group, Global Commercial Services, and Global Merchant and Network Services.

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

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