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

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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 0.2%. By the end of trading, American Express fell $1.16 (-1.3%) to $86.20 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3,155,132 shares of American Express exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,825,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $86.08-$87.25 after having opened the day at $87.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $87.36. Other companies within the Financial Services industry that declined today were: Altisource Asset Management ( AAMC), down 8.7%, First Marblehead ( FMD), down 6.9%, Tiptree Financial ( TIPT), down 6.5% and FXCM ( FXCM), down 4.7%.

American Express Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to consumers and businesses worldwide. The company operates through four segments: U.S. American Express has a market cap of $92.0 billion and is part of the financial sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate American Express a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 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, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, SP Bancorp ( SPBC), up 39.1%, QIWI ( QIWI), up 2.1%, Hennessy Advisors ( HNNA), up 2.1% and Blackrock Muniyield Arizona Fund ( MZA), up 1.9%.

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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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