American Express Co (AXP): Today's Featured Financial Services Straggler

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

American Express ( AXP) pushed the Financial Services industry lower today making it today's featured Financial Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, American Express fell $1.43 (-2.1%) to $65.30 on average volume. Throughout the day, 6.8 million shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $64.77-$65.80 after having opened the day at $65.77 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.73. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: Millennium India Acquisition Corporation ( SMCG), down 10%, Noah Holdings ( NOAH), down 3.6%, Evercore Partners ( EVR), down 3.5%, and Security National Financial Corporation ( SNFCA), down 3.3%.
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American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to customers worldwide. American Express has a market cap of $73.01 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 17, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 16.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are eight analysts that rate American Express a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Express as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, Cohen & Steers Total Return Realty ( RFI), up 20.3%, Orix Corporation ( IX), up 11.6%, PowerShares DB Agriculture Double Short ETN ( AGA), up 6.1%, and US Global Investors ( GROW), up 4.6%, were all gainers within the financial services industry with KKR ( KKR) being today's featured financial services industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial services industry could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial services industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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