American Express Company (AXP) - NYSE
  • Dec. 1, 2015, 4:21 PM
    • American Express (NYSE:AXP) declares $0.29/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 1.61%
    • Payable Feb. 10; for shareholders of record Jan. 8; ex-div Jan. 6.
    | Dec. 1, 2015, 4:21 PM
  • Nov. 24, 2015, 3:36 PM
    • One of the struggling stock's bull legs is the expectation forex headwinds could fade next year, says Barclays, noting management's hope for a return to EPS growth in 2016 and 12-15% gains in 2017 in part rests on mostly-flat currencies.
    • The hawkishness of the Fed combined with more aggressive easing overseas calls that assumption into question, says Barclays. "We doubt the Street is modeling much (if any) USD strengthening, putting both American Express’s (AXP -0.8%) 2016 guidance and Street numbers at risk."
    • AmEx, of course, could still hit targets by finding more expense offsets, says Barclays, but making the numbers though cost cuts will ultimately weigh on the multiple.
    | Nov. 24, 2015, 3:36 PM | 3 Comments
  • Nov. 19, 2015, 10:58 AM
    • The suit wants billions from American Express (AXP +0.1%) for alleged anticompetitive merchant restraints, and follows a federal court ruling against the company earlier this year over similar charges.
    • "The party is over for American Express, and the bill is coming due in California,” say San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera. "American Express has rigged the game. They shook down merchants, stifled competition, and shifted costs for their extravagant member perks to even cash-paying consumers."
    • AmEx, says Herrera, charges merchants a 3% fee on each card transaction - more than Visa and MasterCard - while strictly prohibiting them from encouraging consumers to use less-costly payment methods, including cash.
    | Nov. 19, 2015, 10:58 AM | 11 Comments
  • Nov. 4, 2015, 7:38 AM
    • The company already has made a number of organizational and management changes amid the break-up of the Costco partnership and the purchase of a $1B stake by an activist shareholder. The stock's 20% decline YTD is the 2nd-largest among DJIA members.
    • According to Bloomberg, American Express (NYSE:AXP) is working with Russell Reynolds Associates to find new candidates for the board - currently chaired by CEO Ken Chenault, and with 11 other members.
    • AmEx directors aren't allowed to stand for re-election after age 72. The oldest current member is lead independent director Robert Walter, age 70.
    | Nov. 4, 2015, 7:38 AM | 2 Comments
  • Oct. 28, 2015, 12:30 PM
    • Formerly in charge of international card operations, Doug Buckminster is named president of the Global Consumer Services Group - bringing together the company's U.S. and International Consumer businesses.
    • Also globalizing AXP's business-to-business operations, Steve Squeri will lead a new B2B group.
    • Finally, Anre Williams is named president of the new Global Merchant Services and Loyalty unit, which brings together merchant-related businesses.
    • The moves come as the company and the stock price are under pressure to rebound from the loss of co-brand partner Costco. It's also round two of organizational changes since the sudden death of President Ed Gilligan, who was thought to maybe be CEO-in waiting.
    • Previously: AmEx lower as UBS says "Sell" (Oct. 26)
    • Previously: American Express punished after weak quarter (Oct. 22)
    | Oct. 28, 2015, 12:30 PM | 2 Comments
  • Oct. 27, 2015, 6:32 PM
    • American Express (NYSE:AXP) says its cardmembers will be the first to use Apple Pay in a number of global markets.
    • The company says it will make the payment service available for cardmembers in Canada and Australia later this year, and bring it to Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong next year.
    • Customers will be able to add consumer, small business and corporate cards to their account and pay via iPhone or Apple Watch in stores with contactless payments that accept Amex.
    | Oct. 27, 2015, 6:32 PM | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 26, 2015, 12:37 PM
    • "We continue to see American Express’s (AXP -0.9%) closed-loop model as having lost some of its luster and meaningfulness to merchants as access to broad swaths of consumer data continue to transform the card space," says UBS's Matthew Howlett, calling Costco's exit an "emphatic punctuation mark" to his point.
    • "We believe a significant transformation is needed for the company to adapt to the evolving nature of the payment industry and its own closed-loop model, a transformation that could last several years."
    • The UBS Evidence Lab survey of U.S. Costco members and AmEx-Costco co-brand cardholders has Howlett expecting an 8.1 loss in cardmembers vs. 2.5% previously, an 8% loss in network volume vs. 4.5% previously, and an 18% loss in loan portfolio vs. 12% previously.
    • "We simply do not see a clear path to strong earnings growth even after the Costco dust has settled."
    • Previously: AmEx lower as UBS says "Sell" (Oct. 26)
    | Oct. 26, 2015, 12:37 PM | 3 Comments
  • Oct. 26, 2015, 9:12 AM
    • "We simply do not see the company achieving its long-term guidance any time in the next several years," says UBS, downgrading American Express (NYSE:AXP) to Sell and lowering the price target to a Street-low $67 from $81.
    • Said long-term guidance is for 12-15% EPS growth, and AmEx has promised it can return to that by 2017, but UBS sees just 8% growth between 2017 and 2019.
    • UBS's Evidence Lab Survey doesn't bode well, says the bank, which now expects AmEx to lose 8% of its cardmembers following the Costco split in March vs. its previous estimate of just 2.5%. AmEx is also expected to lose 18% of its card portfolio.
    • via Notable Calls
    • Shares -1.6% to $73.37.
    • Previously: American Express punished after weak quarter (Oct. 22)
    | Oct. 26, 2015, 9:12 AM | 6 Comments
  • Oct. 22, 2015, 10:01 AM
    • Credit Suisse's Moshe Orenbuch reiterates his Underperform rating and cuts his price target to $71 from $74. He cuts his 2015 EPS estimate to $5.28 from $5.42, 2016 to $5.34 from $5.40, and 2017 to $5.75 from $6.
    • AXP -6.5% to $71.51
    • Speaking on the earnings call (transcript), CFO Jeff Campbell says U.S. transactions were up 7% Y/Y, but the average transaction size was lower by 3%, with the big slide in gasoline prices being a key driver. Airline spend was also down 3% Y/Y.
    • There hasn't yet been significant earnings impact from Costco as lower volume growth has been offset by reduced marketing expenses associated with the co-brand portfolio. He offered no comment on the Costco portfolio sale discussions with Citi.
    • Previously: AmEx dips after earnings miss (Oct. 21)
    • Previously: American Express misses by $0.07, misses on revenue (Oct. 21)
    | Oct. 22, 2015, 10:01 AM
  • Oct. 21, 2015, 4:18 PM
    • Q3 net income of $1.266B or $1.24 per share vs. $1.477B and $1.40 one year ago. Float of 997M shares down from 1.047B. ROE of 26.8 down 200 basis points. Revenue of $8.193B down 1%.
    • On an FX-adjusted basis, expenses were up 7% from a year ago as the company spent money on growth initiatives in the wake of the Costco loss.
    • CEO: Ken Chenault: "We continue to expect quarterly earnings performance to be more uneven than it has been historically."
    • Full-year EPS guidance is cut to $5.20-$5.35. Positive growth is expected to return in 2016, and the target range of 12-15% growth in 2017 "remains appropriate."
    • U.S. Card Services income of $794M down 11% Y/Y on revenue of $4.7B, up 5%. Provisions of $390M up 23%, as reserves were added to this Q3 vs. a release in Q3 a year ago. Total expenses up 11% to $3.1B.
    • International Card Services income of $89M down 37%, mostly due to King Dollar. Revenues fell 11% to $1.2B, but gained 4% on n FX-adjusted basis. Expenses gained 4% on an FX-adjusted basis.
    • Global Commercial Services income of $151M down 26% Y/Y, on revenue of $817M down 9% (down 5% FX-adjusted).
    • Global Network & Merchant Services income of $462M up 8%.
    • Conference call at 5 ET
    • Previously: American Express misses by $0.07, misses on revenue (Oct. 21)
    • AXP -2.8% after hours
    | Oct. 21, 2015, 4:18 PM | 18 Comments
  • Oct. 21, 2015, 4:07 PM
    • American Express (NYSE:AXP): Q3 EPS of $1.24 misses by $0.07.
    • Revenue of $8.19B (-1.4% Y/Y) misses by $130M.
    • Shares -2.6%.
    | Oct. 21, 2015, 4:07 PM | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 20, 2015, 5:35 PM
  • Oct. 16, 2015, 9:12 AM
    • “Amex maintains that it has the best brand,” says Credit Suisse analyst Moshe Orenbuch, "Yet they decided not to tell us that 23% of their business was actually co-branded, which means it’s using someone else’s brand. I find those two things somewhat inconsistent.”
    • When the American Express (NYSE:AXP)/Costco (NASDAQ:COST) marriage broke up earlier this year, AmEx CEO Ken Chenault disclosed 10% of the 112M AmEx cards out there were Costco-branded. Adding in other deals including Delta, JetBlue, and Starwood Hotels, and co-branded cards accounted for 23% of $1T in overall card spending last year.
    • While AmEx viewed Costco as its "trusted partner," Costco and its CEO Craig Jelinek saw the card issuer as just another vendor. "If I can get cheaper ketchup somewhere else, I will," Jelinek reportedly told Chenault in a phone call just ahead of the break-up.
    • AmEx has been wildly profitable, but now finds itself in a position familiar to other previously impervious brands like Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and McDonald's, write Devin Leonard and Elizabeth Dexheimer for Bloomberg. Even worse for AmEx - new technology means folks don't have to pull their credit card out. "Who cares what card you have if you’re paying for your expensive meal through your smartphone’s digital wallet?"
    | Oct. 16, 2015, 9:12 AM | 35 Comments
  • Oct. 13, 2015, 3:34 PM
    • While management guided for an H2 expense ramp as it attempts to drive revenue growth in the wake of the Costco expiration, Street forecasts are all over the place, says the Barclays team.
    • The Costco portfolio sale will dictate the aggressiveness of the American Express (AXP -0.9%) expense cuts, they say, expecting management guidance for a return to positive EPS growth next year to hold regardless of the premium received. A lower premium, though, means more work in store for management, especially as revenues are set to slip 2-3% next year.
    • The duo lowers its 2016 EPS forecast to $5.49 from $5.60, and cuts its price target to $77.
    | Oct. 13, 2015, 3:34 PM
  • Oct. 5, 2015, 9:27 AM
    • After a tough stretch for the stock - down more than 20% YTD - Discover (NYSE:DFS) trades at a relative P/E of 62% vs. the S&P 500, well below the long-term average of 70%, says analyst Kevin St. Pierre, upgrading to Outperform. His $69 price target is 33% above Friday's close.
    • St. Pierre figures Discover is sitting on about $5.50 per share of excess capital above the target CET1 ratio of 11%.
    • He also takes note of Discover's network - it has the same capacity as that of MasterCard and Visa, but is massively underutilized, says St. Pierre.
    • He now has Outperform ratings on all of the card issuers. His favorites over the next 12 months are Capital One (NYSE:COF) and Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF), over the next two-three years DIscover, and American Express (NYSE:AXP) over the longer term.
    • DFS +1.4% to $52.92 premarket.
    | Oct. 5, 2015, 9:27 AM
  • Oct. 1, 2015, 8:38 AM
    • Beginning today, American Express (NYSE:AXP) cards are now accepted at more than 650 Sam's Club locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The launch comes with a special offer in which AmEx cardholders can get a one-time $25 statement credit after spending $45 or more on a new Sam's Club membership this month.
    • AXP is lower by 0.15% premarket, and down about 20% this year.
    • Previously: AmEx cards to be accepted at Sam's Club (Sept. 10)
    | Oct. 1, 2015, 8:38 AM | 1 Comment
Company Description
American Express Co. is a global payments and travel company. The company, through its subsidiaries, offers products and services, including charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to consumers and businesses around the world. American Express operates through four... More
Sector: Financial
Industry: Mortgage Investment
Country: United States