Is The Starwood-Marriott Merger Bad For American Express?

In a new report, Barclays analyst Mark DeVries explains why American Express Company AXP shareholders have a vested interest in the outcome of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc HOT buyout.

According to DeVries, American Express shareholders should be hoping that Starwood ultimately goes to Anbang and not Marriott International Inc MAR.

“If Anbang ultimately prevails, the likeliest outcome is ‘status quo’ regarding HOT’s co-brand card program, which should be a net positive to AXP stock at current levels,” DeVries explains. “However, if the current Marriott (MAR) agreement holds, we’d expect downward pressure on AXP from concerns relating to the AXP/HOT co-brand relationship.”

DeVries sees about 4.5 percent downside risk to American Express earnings if Starwood is forced to modify its rewards/co-brand offering. However, he believes…

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