KBC Group NV Increases Position in American Express Company (NYSE:AXP)

KBC Group NV boosted its position in shares of American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) by 29.5% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund owned 334,263 shares of the payment services company’s stock after buying an additional 76,106 shares during the period. KBC Group NV’s holdings in American Express were worth $26,443,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. boosted its stake in shares of American Express by 973.2% in the first quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. now owns 71,670 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $5,671,000 after buying an additional 64,992 shares during the last quarter. Coronation Fund Managers Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of American Express by 4.2% in the first quarter. Coronation Fund Managers Ltd. now owns 297,867 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $23,564,000 after buying an additional 11,915 shares during the last quarter. Heritage Wealth Advisors purchased a new stake in shares of American Express during the first quarter worth $208,000. Hutner Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of American Express by 2.1% in the first quarter. Hutner Capital Management Inc. now owns 34,434 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $2,724,000 after buying an additional 717 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Private Management Group Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of American Express during the first quarter worth $23,582,000. 83.86% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of American Express Company (NYSE AXP) traded down 0.82% during trading on Friday, reaching $85.38. The company had a trading volume of 4,271,186 shares. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $85.23 and a 200 day moving average of $80.55. American Express Company has a 52-week low of $59.50 and a 52-week high of $87.78. The stock has a market capitalization of $75.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.51 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, topping the Zacks’ 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 firm had revenue of $8.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.20 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $2.10 earnings per share. American Express’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that American Express Company will post $5.74 EPS for the current year.

American Express declared that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to buyback $4.40 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the payment services company to buy up to 5.9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on AXP. BidaskClub raised American Express from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $100.00 target price (up from $99.00) on shares of American Express in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $85.00 target price on shares of American Express in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. Guggenheim reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $95.00 target price (up from $90.00) on shares of American Express in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $94.00 target price (up from $87.00) on shares of American Express in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. American Express has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $84.77.

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 value of $377,202.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Anre D. Williams sold 53,111 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $85.24, for a total transaction of $4,527,181.64. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 79,614 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,786,297.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 948,287 shares of company stock worth $80,321,961 in the last three months. 0.67% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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).

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

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