Credit card issuer and processor American Express (NYSE: AXP) has performed very well in recent years in terms of its fundamental statistics. The company has seen earnings grow by an average of 18% per year over the last three years and it saw 13% growth in its EPS in the second quarter. Sales have grown by 11% per year in the last three years and they were up 9% in the second quarter.
The company boasts a return on equity of 31.7%, a profit margin of 18.8%, and an operating margin of 21.3%.
Looking at some valuation indicators from the Tickeron fundamental analysis overview, we see a price to book ratio of 4.35 and a P/E ratio of 14.96. The price to book ratio is slightly above the P/B ratio of the S&P 500 while the P/E ratio is below the current P/E of the S&P.
The stock has fallen over the last few weeks and it dropped below its 50-day moving average for the first time since January as a result. You can see that a trend channel has formed on the stock that goes back to the low in December. This particular channel is formed more by the upper rail connecting the highs from each month and the parallel lower rail connects the December low with the low from August 5.
The 10-day RSI hit oversold territory this week and the daily stochastic readings also reached oversold territory. The stochastic readings made a bullish crossover on August 6 and past crossovers have been good bullish signs for the stock.
In addition to the oversold levels on the RSI and stochastic readings, we see the following from Tickeron’s technical analysis overview.
The lower Bollinger Band was broken -- a price increase is expected as the stock heads toward the middle band, which indicates a buy or call consideration for traders. In 26 of 42 cases where AXP's price broke its lower Bollinger Band, its price rose further in the following month. The odds of a continued Uptrend are 62%.
The sentiment toward American Express was a little surprising, specifically the analysts’ ratings weren’t as bullish as I would have expected given the solid fundamentals for the company. There are 31 analysts following the stock currently and there are 14 “buy” ratings, 16 “hold” ratings, and one “sell” rating. The overall buy percentage is only 45.2% and that is well below average.
The short interest ratio is a little lower than average at this time with a current reading of 1.8. The average short interest ratio is in the 3.0 range so the bullish sentiment is a little greater in this category.
Something to remember about the sentiment indicators is that they are best used as contrarian indicators. Extreme bullish sentiment isn’t something you want on a stock as it means the expectations are really high. Conversely, extreme bearish sentiment can help a stock if the company is producing good earnings results. The sentiment toward American Express isn’t extremely bearish, but the analysts’ ratings are definitely skewed toward the bearish side.
Given the solid fundamentals, the oversold levels on the chart, and the bearishly skewed sentiment, look for American Express to bounce in the coming weeks.