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American Express to Buy Resy & Expand in Hospitality Space

Zacks Equity Research

American Express Co. AXP has agreed to buy Resy, a digital restaurant reservation booking and management platform. With this deal, the company aims to provide its customers with a growing suite of digital-first benefits and services. This includes providing card members with access and experience across travel and lodging, airport lounges, exclusive events and dining.

With Resy’s presence across the U.K., Europe, Canada and Australia, the deal will give American Express a presence in the region’s growing hospitality industry. Resy has under its roll approximately 4,000 restaurants in 154 U.S. cities and 10 countries, which serve more than 2.6 million diners a week.

Resy provides world-class hospitality software to the partner restaurants which makes online reservations easy. The partnered restaurants, in turn, will gain increased revenues from optimum table reservation through American Express.

American Express card members will uniquely benefit from this service as Resy enables dining reservations at some of the most hard-to-reach restaurants across the globe.

This deal shows American Express’ efforts to grow presence in the lucrative hospitality and dining industry. In this vein, the company has recently made a number of acquisitions. These buyouts include personal travel assistant app Mezi, U.K. dining reservation platform Cake Technologies, airport lounge discovery and booking platform LoungeBuddy, and Japanese premium restaurant reservation platform Pocket Concierge.

American Express has exhibited impressive growth for the past many quarters and has emerged well from the loss of revenues due to the loss of one of its major clients, Costco, in 2016.

Since then, American Express has undertaken a number of strategic initiatives such as forging co-brand partnerships, making investments in technology, increasing marketing and advertising to be more appealing to customers. The company has also refurbished rewards and facilities on its cards and upgraded credit cards from time to time.

American Express has a long-term growth path given its brand name, a superior client base, expanding suite of services and growing co-brand partnerships. In a year’s time, the stock has gained 16% against its industry’s decline of 8.1%. This stock price performance reflects the company’s strong operating profitability.

The company has surpassed earnings estimates in three of the four quarters, the average positive surprise being 0.84%.

American Express carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few stocks worth considering in the same space are WEX Inc. WEX, Cardtronics plc CATM and FleetCor Technologies, Inc. FLT. While Cardtronics and WEX sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), the other one carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

WEX, Cardtronics and FleetCor have surpassed estimates in each of the four quarters, the average positive surprise being 2.12%, 43.8% and 1.71%, respectively.

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