Morgan Stanley 'Pounding the Table' on American Express (AXP)

May 27, 2014 10:12 AM EDT
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Price: $156.54 -0.2%

Rating Summary:
    16 Buy, 20 Hold, 2 Sell

Rating Trend: Up Up

Today's Overall Ratings:
    Up: 14 | Down: 5 | New: 58
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American Express (NYSE: AXP) is notably higher today (+2.2%) after Morgan Stanley analyst Betsy Graseck was out 'pounding the table' on the stock ahead of several upcoming catalysts.

Graseck said American Express is their highest probability bull case, noting: "Revenue growth looks poised to accelerate, with several near-term catalysts including mgmt presentations over next 3 weeks, accelerating y/y revenue growth in 2Q14, gain on travel JV finalized and expansion of merchant network in 2H14."

The analyst said Amex’s US spend is poised to accelerate in 2Q14 after 1Q14’s brutal weather drove airlines to cancel the most flights ever in one quarter. "Better weather and some pent up demand are driving retail sales up 4% y/y in March/April vs. up 1.7% in Jan/Feb," the analyst said. "Expect AXP’s US spend growth up from +6.1% y/y in 1Q14 to +9.6% in 2Q, rev growth up from +4.0% y/y to +6.3% y/y. We boost EPS 2% in 14/15 on higher loan growth that should come with higher spend."

The firm maintained an Overweight rating and price target of $100 on American Express.

For an analyst ratings summary and ratings history on American Express click here. For more ratings news on American Express click here.

Shares of American Express closed at $88.78 yesterday.

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