Norges Bank Purchases Shares of 6,753,633 American Express (AXP)

Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of American Express (NYSE:AXP) during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor purchased 6,753,633 shares of the payment services company’s stock, valued at approximately $643,757,000. Norges Bank owned approximately 0.80% of American Express as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in AXP. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of American Express by 0.7% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 49,872,420 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $5,310,914,000 after purchasing an additional 364,282 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc grew its holdings in shares of American Express by 0.7% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 49,872,420 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $5,310,914,000 after purchasing an additional 364,282 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of American Express by 0.7% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 45,477,488 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $4,334,916,000 after purchasing an additional 300,504 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its holdings in shares of American Express by 49.5% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 24,583,840 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $2,343,332,000 after purchasing an additional 8,136,470 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of American Express by 3.1% during the fourth quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 10,681,552 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $1,018,166,000 after purchasing an additional 323,809 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 84.86% of the company’s stock.

In other news, EVP Richard Petrino sold 2,444 shares of American Express stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.11, for a total transaction of $261,776.84. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 7,591 shares in the company, valued at approximately $813,072.01. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 12,500 shares of American Express stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.02, for a total transaction of $1,287,750.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.21% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Shares of NYSE:AXP opened at $113.67 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.64, a current ratio of 2.24 and a quick ratio of 1.93. The stock has a market capitalization of $95.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.51, a PEG ratio of 1.31 and a beta of 1.11. American Express has a 52 week low of $89.05 and a 52 week high of $114.55.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 18th. The payment services company reported $2.01 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.00 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $10.36 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.46 billion. American Express had a net margin of 16.60% and a return on equity of 29.94%. The firm’s revenue was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.86 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that American Express will post 8.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 10th. Investors of record on Friday, April 5th will be given a $0.39 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 4th. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.37%. American Express’s payout ratio is currently 21.28%.

Several brokerages have issued reports on AXP. Oppenheimer set a $119.00 price objective on American Express and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 17th. DZ Bank lowered American Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, March 21st. Bank of America reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $108.00 price objective on shares of American Express in a report on Thursday, March 14th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $125.00 target price (up previously from $115.00) on shares of American Express in a research note on Tuesday, March 12th. Finally, Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of American Express from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $100.80 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $112.13.

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

Further Reading: Balance Sheet

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

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