Herndon Capital Management LLC trimmed its stake in shares of American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) by 6.6% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 236,727 shares of the payment services company’s stock after selling 16,658 shares during the period. American Express makes up 3.0% of Herndon Capital Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 5th largest holding. Herndon Capital Management LLC’s holdings in American Express were worth $19,942,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in AXP. MCF Advisors LLC increased its holdings in American Express by 0.3% during the second quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 1,286 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 4 shares during the last quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA increased its holdings in American Express by 30.4% during the second quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA now owns 1,288 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in American Express by 10.3% during the first quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 1,476 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 138 shares during the last quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in American Express by 36.7% during the first quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,528 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $119,000 after buying an additional 410 shares during the last quarter. Finally, MV Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in American Express by 3.5% during the second quarter. MV Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,448 shares of the payment services company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 49 shares during the last quarter. 82.78% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of analysts have commented on the stock. Compass Point cut shares of American Express from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Wells Fargo & Company assumed coverage on shares of American Express in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $105.00 target price for the company. Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $102.00 target price on shares of American Express in a report on Monday, October 9th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $79.00 target price on shares of American Express in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, Buckingham Research assumed coverage on shares of American Express in a report on Monday, October 2nd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $92.00 target price for the company. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. American Express currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $87.69.

In other American Express news, CEO Kenneth I. Chenault sold 789,503 shares of American Express stock in a transaction on Monday, July 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.62, for a total transaction of $66,807,743.86. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 889,836 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $75,297,922.32. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Paul D. Fabara sold 5,981 shares of American Express stock in a transaction 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. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 959,617 shares of company stock worth $81,377,425. 0.67% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) opened at 92.86 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $82.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.04 and a beta of 1.21. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $88.38 and its 200 day moving average is $83.11. American Express Company has a 52-week low of $59.78 and a 52-week high of $92.92.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 19th. The payment services company reported $1.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the 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 company had revenue of $8.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.20 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.10 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict that American Express Company will post $5.74 EPS for the current fiscal year.

American Express announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to buyback $4.40 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the payment services company to reacquire up to 5.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 6th will be paid a dividend of $0.35 per share. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.51%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 5th. This is a boost from American Express’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. American Express’s payout ratio is 28.63%.

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American Express Company Profile

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).

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

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