American Express Co. (NYSE:AXP) shares gapped up prior to trading on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $63.61, but opened at $63.94. American Express shares last traded at $65.59, with a volume of 2,772,107 shares trading hands.

AXP has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 target price on shares of American Express in a research note on Thursday, April 21st. Vetr cut American Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $63.85 target price on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, April 13th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “hold” rating on shares of American Express in a research note on Thursday, June 30th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $60.00 target price (up previously from $58.00) on shares of American Express in a research note on Thursday, April 21st. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reduced their target price on American Express from $64.00 to $62.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 21st. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $70.40.

The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $62.51 and its 200 day moving average price is $60.99. The firm has a market capitalization of $60.53 billion and a PE ratio of 11.59.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The payment services company reported $2.10 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.95 by $0.15. The business earned $8.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.33 billion. American Express’s revenue for the quarter was down .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.42 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that American Express Co. will post $5.50 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO Kenneth I. Chenault sold 838,968 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.65, for a total transaction of $52,561,345.20. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,444,572 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $90,502,435.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Susan Sobbott sold 14,682 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.50, for a total transaction of $961,671.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 51,552 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,376,656. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Veritas Asset Management LLP boosted its stake in American Express by 11.9% in the fourth quarter. Veritas Asset Management LLP now owns 7,033,097 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $489,152,000 after buying an additional 745,397 shares during the last quarter. Harris Associates L P boosted its stake in American Express by 10.5% in the fourth quarter. Harris Associates L P now owns 6,472,713 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $450,177,000 after buying an additional 617,445 shares during the last quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. boosted its stake in American Express by 5.6% in the fourth quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 4,751,625 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $330,476,000 after buying an additional 251,890 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in American Express by 7.5% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,239,431 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $155,763,000 after buying an additional 155,627 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Herndon Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in American Express by 36.7% in the fourth quarter. Herndon Capital Management LLC now owns 1,975,973 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $137,428,000 after buying an additional 530,125 shares during the last quarter.

American Express Company is a services company. The Company’s principal products and services are charge and credit payment card products, and travel-related services offered to consumers and businesses around the world. The Company’s segments include U.S. Consumer Services (USCS), International Consumer and Network Services (ICNS), Global Commercial Services (GCS) and Global Merchant Services (GMS).

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