American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) shares reached a new 52-week high during trading on Friday . The company traded as high as $86.30 and last traded at $86.32, with a volume of 1,192,901 shares. The stock had previously closed at $85.54.

A number of research analysts have commented on the company. BidaskClub downgraded American Express from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $100.00 target price (up previously from $99.00) on shares of American Express in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $94.00 target price (up previously from $87.00) on shares of American Express in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $85.00 target price on shares of American Express in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $91.00 target price on shares of American Express in a report on Monday, April 10th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $84.77.

The firm has a 50-day moving average of $83.91 and a 200-day moving average of $79.79. The firm has a market capitalization of $76.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.64 and a beta of 1.18.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The payment services company reported $1.47 earnings per share (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 business had revenue of $8.31 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.20 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $2.10 EPS. American Express’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that American Express Company will post $5.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

American Express announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to repurchase $4.40 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the payment services company to purchase up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In other American Express news, EVP Marc D. Gordon sold 4,900 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.98, for a total transaction of $377,202.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Paul D. Fabara sold 5,981 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.88, for a total transaction of $513,648.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 948,287 shares of company stock valued at $80,321,961 over the last quarter. 0.67% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of AXP. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of American Express by 1.5% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 49,502,529 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $3,916,145,000 after buying an additional 722,235 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of American Express by 2,686.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 44,177,867 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $3,494,913,000 after buying an additional 42,592,136 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of American Express by 1.8% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 40,399,620 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $3,196,011,000 after buying an additional 731,315 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its position in shares of American Express by 21.7% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 17,198,787 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $1,360,596,000 after buying an additional 3,071,573 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Eagle Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of American Express by 0.6% in the second quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC now owns 16,342,822 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $1,376,719,000 after buying an additional 103,546 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.64% of the company’s stock.

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About American Express

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).

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