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American Express Company (AXP)

  • Wed, Mar. 25, 3:12 PM
    • In no surprise, American Express (AXP -1.3%) CEO Ken Chennault says the company is committed to its long-term 8%+ revenue growth target, and continues to see 12-15% EPS growth over time (though it's failed to hit that goal of late). Despite challenges, the company also doesn't back off of its ROE target of 25%.
    • Webcast and presentation slides
    • Helping EPS growth, of course, is a strong capital position allowing the continuation of buybacks, and AmEx repurchased 3.6% of the float in 2012, 4.6% in 2013, and 3.5% in 2014. After being flat-to-down in 2015, EPS growth should turn positive in 2016, says the company, and hit the 12-15% target in 2017.
    • The stock turned higher as the presentations began at 1:30 ET, but has since returned to session lows. Not helping is Charlie Munger, speaking at the Daily Journal annual meeting, suggesting AmEx's "moat" is less than it once was.
    | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Mar. 12, 12:31 PM
    • American Express (AXP +2%) "shined" in its stress test, says Susquehanna's James Friedman, noting the new buyback of $6.6B vs. last year's $4.4B (the dividend was boosted 11.5% as well).
    • Share count should fall by 5.7% through the end of 2016 Q2 vs. a 3.6% decline last year, says Friedman, who thus boosts his 2016 EPS estimate to $5.96 from $5.85. 2015 EPS is now expected at $5.58 from $5.56 previously.
    • Previously: American Express boosts payout by 11.5% after CCAR approval (March 11)
    | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Mar. 2, 8:13 AM
    • Citigroup (NYSE:C) will become the exclusive co-issuer of Costco's (NASDAQ:COST) co-brand credit cards, and Visa (NYSE:V) will replace American Express (NYSE:AXP) as the credit card network for Costco in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, beginning April 1, 2016.
    • On CNBC as the news hit, AmEx shareholder Warren Buffett: Citi won't get rich off the Costco deal.
    • Source: Press Release
    • +0.6%, V +2.4% premarket
  • Thu, Feb. 26, 2:27 PM
    • "We believe the company will be able to restore its earnings power sooner than expected,' says Deutsche's David Ho in his AmEx (AXP +1.2%) upgrade, noting management now has "breathing room" to manage earnings expectations this year given a "minimal" revenue drag from Costco and efficiency gains coming online in H2.
    • AmEx, he says, also has the largest amount of excess capital among consumer finance stocks, giving the company ample room to deploy capital to new partnerships, acquisitions, and eventually higher dividends and buybacks.
    • Finally, at 13.7x 2016 estimates, American Express is being valued at a 30-35% discount to Visa and MasterCard.
    • Previously: American Express up 1% as Deutsche buys the dip (Feb. 26)
    | Comment!
  • Thu, Feb. 26, 8:41 AM
  • Thu, Feb. 19, 12:07 PM
    • "The court's ruling will not provide any benefit to consumers and will, in fact, harm competition by further entrenching the two dominant networks," says American Express (AXP -2.2%), responding to its loss in an antitrust lawsuit, and vowing to appeal.
    • Filed in 2010 and heard by a federal judge last year, the case is about AmEx's prohibiting merchants who accept its cards from steering customers towards those cards processed by rivals Visa (V +0.3%) and MasterCard (MA +1.7%), or debit cards.
    • “The most damaging thing that can happen to the American Express brand is when our card members are discriminated against at the point of sale,” said company CEO Ken Chenault when he testified at last year's trial.
    • It's another 2015 blow for AmEx which last week announced an end to its long-time exclusive partnership with Costco in the U.S. The stock's now lower by about 16% YTD.
    • Previously: AmEx lower by 1.9% after losing antitrust suit (Feb. 19)
  • Thu, Feb. 19, 10:32 AM
    • A federal judge rules American Express (AXP -1.9%) violated antitrust laws in a case brought by the DOJ and a number of states alleging the company set rules preventing merchants from offering discounts/incentives to customers using less expensive forms of payment.
    • Previously: AmEx to face antitrust lawsuit (July 4, 2014)
  • Thu, Feb. 12, 2:43 PM
  • Thu, Feb. 12, 12:30 PM
    • American Express' (AXP -6%) Costco relationship accounted for 8% of AmEx's billed business, 20% of worldwide loans, and 10% of cards in force, says Jefferies' John Hecht, so this isn't a minor loss.
    • Hecht expects EPS growth this year will now be down-to-flat. Beyond 2016, AmEx management expects recent investments and initiatives to allow a return to 12-15% EPS growth. There's also the transfers of merchant agreements which could result in a portfolio sale and one-time gain.
    • Previously: AmEx and Costco ending U.S. partnership next year (Feb. 12)
  • Thu, Feb. 12, 9:15 AM
  • Thu, Feb. 12, 8:02 AM
    • "We were unable to reach terms that would have made economic sense for our company and shareholders," says American Express (NYSE:AXP) CEO Ken Chenault, announcing an end to his company's exclusive relationship with Costco (NASDAQ:COST), effective March 31, 2016.
    • Source: Press Release
    • AmEx has set a conference call to discuss the matter at 8:30 ET.
    • Shares -1.8% premarket
    • The two parted ways in Canada on Jan. 1.
  • Thu, Jan. 22, 9:32 AM
    • American Express (NYSE:AXP) is lower by 3.3% after the company last night said it would eliminate 4K jobs (about 6% of the U.S. workforce). The company has been able to meet or beat bottom-line earnings estimates by controlling expenses, but has been falling short of its long-term revenue growth target of 8%.
    • "Headwinds present a challenging environment for American Express," says Jefferies' John Hecht, noting the discount rate - what AmEx collects on each transactions from merchants - edged lower in Q4.
    • As for costs last quarter, they rose 6% when adjusted for forex impacts, and though layoff announcements have neared 12K over the past two years, the overall headcount has remained relatively steady at between 61K and 63.5K since 2010.
    • Previously: AmEx beats, reportedly planning thousands of job cuts (Jan. 21)
    | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Jan. 7, 7:35 AM
    • Upgrading American Express (NYSE:AXP) to a Buy with $102 price target, analyst Ryan Nash says an improving macro should drive revenue upside. He also notes increased customer acquisition, share gains in lending, growth from a number of key long-term initiatives, and operating expense containment.
    • His numbers are 2% higher than the Street for 2014, and 3% higher this year, and shares trade at 13.1x 2016 estimates vs. 15.3x for peers.
    • The stock's higher by 1% premarket.
    | Comment!
  • Sep. 15, 2014, 9:18 AM
    • Sounding like he attended the AmEx presentation at the Barclays Financial Services Conference last week, Barron's Avi Salzman says the company's focus on being more inclusive should be a big boost to profits and the stock price.
    • The latest effort is the EveryDay card with its ad campaign featuring "regular-girl" Tina Fey using her AmEx (NYSE:AXP) card to buy stuff like acne cream and dryer sheets. There's also Bluebird, the prepaid debit card launched with Wal-Mart, and Serve, another prepaid card which can be reloaded at places like Family Dollar and 7-Eleven. RIght now, Bluebird and Serve represent a tiny fraction of AmEx revenues, but the opportunity - according to AmEx and the analyst community - is huge, with about half the customers under the age of 35 and 90% new or former AmEx cardholders.
    • Shares +0.9% premarket
    | Comment!
  • Aug. 19, 2014, 9:18 AM
    • American Express (NYSE:AXP) is up 0.6% ahead of the bell after Macquarie pulls its Sell rating on the stock, upgrading to Neutral with price target remaining at $81.
    | 1 Comment
  • May. 27, 2014, 10:32 AM
    • "Revenue growth looks poised to accelerate, with several near-term catalysts including management presentations over [the] next 3 weeks, accelerating Y/Y revenue growth in Q2, gain on [the] travel JV finalized, and expansion of merchant network in H2," says analyst Betsy Graseck, "pounding the table" on American Express (AXP +2.4%).
    • She notes the winter weather had airlines canceling the most flights ever in one quarter, but better weather combining with pent-up demand should fuel a big Q2.
    • Morgan maintains its Outperform rating and $100 price target.
    | Comment!
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Company Description
American Express Co is a payments, network and travel company, which offers credit payment card products and travel-related services to consumers and businesses.
Sector: Financial
Country: United States