AmEx Shows Higher Cardmember Spending, Larger Loss Provisions

American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) rose just over 1% ahead of earnings and now it is giving some of the small gain back. The credit card provider reported earnings rose 1% to $1.3 billion, while its earnings per share rose 6% to $1.09 EPS. AmEx said that total revenues rose by 4% to $7.9 billion net of interest expense in the quarter. That sales figure would have been 5% growth if it were not for currency fluctuations. Thomson Reuters was calling for earnings of $1.09 EPS and $7.93 billion in revenue.

AmEx said that its return on equity was 26.3%, which is actually down from 27.8% a year ago. It also said that cardmember spending rose by 8% in the U.S. from a year ago and 6% globally, but that would have been 8% globally if it were not for currency adjustments. Provisions for losses in the U.S. card segment totaled $339 million, up from $143 million a year ago and expenses were up 2%. On the international card segment those provisions for losses managed to fall by 18% down to $83 million for the quarter.

Global Commercial Services reported third-quarter net income down 7% to $183 million. Global Network & Merchant Services reported that net income rose by 8% to $360 million. AmEx said that "Corporate and Other" results came to a net loss of $156 million compared with net loss of $248 million in the year ago period.

Shares closed up 1.2% at $59.37 against a 52-week range of $44.69 to $61.42, but shares are down 0.6% at $59.00 in the after-hours session.

JON C. OGG

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