#4: American Express
Dividend Yield: 1.5%
Payout Ratio: 17%
YTD Performance: +17%
Here are a couple fun facts for you concerning American Express (NYSE:AXP):
- AXP shares vaulted into a rebound after the financial crisis, turning out 350% returns since its 2009 lows.
- In that time, AXP has increased its dividend roughly 11% — from 18 cents quarterly to 20 cents.
Granted, dividends and share appreciation don’t go hand in hand, and the Fed actually had to sign off on AXP’s dividend increase this year.
It has been a fantastic year for financial companies, as evidenced by the likes of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC, +65%) and Citigroup (NYSE:C, +40%). In fact, it has been a fantastic year for financial companies in the credit-card business, including Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS, +66%) and Capital One (NYSE:COF, +42%).
American Express admittedly has more than held in its own in the Dow with 17% returns, but as profits continue to improve — though slower than expected in Q3 — AXP’s payout ratio continues to remain slim and the yield remains wanting.