Look at a 15 year chart. It dropped to the 20's in the tech bubble. This is the financial bubble. That's why the head of the consumer division dumped big last fall. The only thing holding this stock up is the buybacks(which should have been going to you in the form of a dividend), and stupid hot money doing pair trades ala CNBC. Buffet selling. No top line growth. Mushrooming debit. In many regards countrywide is in better shape because at least their loans are COLLATERALIZED.
low p/e or not. when your assets are impaired (remember that term from the tech bubble in 2001?) then it's a free fall. Hey the consumer has no spending money left in their home equity, credit cards are max'ed out and probably about to lose his/her house. AXP is 32 by summer.
The historical average PE for AXP is 18.7 They expect to earn 3.38 to 3.40 in 2008.
at 3.38 X 18.7PE the stock would trade at $63.20 at a PE of 14 its 47.32
There is no real comparison of AMEX to Capital One. AMEX is in another league altogether. It will probably get beat up for a while but if your time horizon is at least one year you will see the PE of this stock start to advance closer to historical levels. If you are holding for the long haul this is good news as you can get more at a great discount to its historical average.