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Morgan Stanley Cuts American Express Target

Morgan Stanley cut its target on American Express (AXP) to $30.

Analyst Kenneth Posner says he cut the $36 12-month target to $30. He says shares appear fully valued, and are trading slightly above the revised target. He says the revised target represents a probability-weighted average of a base case and downside economic scenarios.

Posner says the principal driver of 2003 earnings per share will likely be slower growth in its U.S. portfolio, reflecting what he views as a rational deleveraging trend among consumers. Posner cut his $2.01 2002 earnings per share estimate to $1.96, and cut the $2.19 2003 estimate to $2.14. He maintains his underweight rating.

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