Investors are on the edge of their collective seats, hoping that American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) will top analyst expectations for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, October 19. American Express is a global payments, network, and travel company that offers credit card products and travel-related services to consumers and businesses on an international scale.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: The majority of analysts back American Express Company as a buy. But with 72.2% of analysts rating it a buy, American Express Company is still below the mean analyst rating of its nearest 10 competitors, which average 76.8% buys. Analysts like American Express Company better than competitor Bank of America overall. Nine out of 23 analysts rate Bank of America a buy compared to 13 of 18 for American Express Company. While analysts still rate the stock a Moderate buy, they are a little more optimistic about it compared to three months ago.
  • Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $7.58 billion in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 7.8% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of 96 cents per share. Estimates range from 85 cents to $1.05.

What our community says:
CAPS All Stars are solidly behind the stock with 93.1% granting it an "outperform" rating. The community at large backs the All Stars with 89.7% giving it a rating of "outperform." Fools have embraced American Express Company and haven't been shy with their opinions lately, logging 863 posts in the past 30 days. Despite the majority sentiment in favor of American Express Company, the stock has a middling CAPS rating of three out of five stars.

Management:
American Express Company's profit has risen year over year by an average of 45.7% over the past five quarters. Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows net margins over the past four quarters.

Quarter

Q2

Q1

Q4

Q3

Net Margin

16.2%

15.4%

13.4%

14.3%

For all our American Express Company-specific analysis, including earnings and beyond, add American Express Company to My Watchlist.

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a write covered strangle position in American Express.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.