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The credit card company passed the
Federal Reserve's stress test and anticipates
$4 billion in buybacks in 2012.
"Given excess capital generation, slower balance sheet growth, and a lack of significant acquisitions relative to current capital levels, we believe the repurchase authorization post the CCAR process will increase shareholder value," Guggenheim analysts wrote in a report Wednesday.
Shares of American Express hit a 52-week high of $56.28 on Wednesday. The stock's 52-week low of $41.30 was set on Oct. 4.
American Express has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 11.87 times; the average among its peers is 11.97.
Seventeen of the 31 analysts who cover American Express rated it buy. Eleven analysts gave the stock a hold rating and three rated it sell.
TheStreet Ratings gives American Express an A+ grade with a buy rating and a
$61.16 price target. The stock has risen 18.63% year to date.