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Amex Earnings Not Enough for Investors Amid CEO Shuffle

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American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) reported third-quarter financial results after markets closed Wednesday. The company said that it had $1.50 in earnings per share (EPS) and $8.44 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $1.48 in EPS and $8.29 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $1.20 in EPS and $7.77 billion in revenue.

Separately it was announced that Kenneth Chenault will be stepping down as CEO, effective February 1, 2018, after serving 37 years with the company. Stephen Squeri will take over as CEO and Chairman of the Board at that time.

Chenault has served as Chairman and CEO since 2001. While Squeri has been Vice Chairman since 2015 and prior to that was Group President of the Company’s Global Corporate Services Group.

Back to the earnings, in terms of its business segments the company reported:

As for the outlook for the 2017 full year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $5.80 to $5.90, up from the previous range of $5.60 to $5.80. There are consensus estimates calling for $5.74 in EPS and $33.02 billion in revenue for the 2017 full year.

Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO, commented:

Loan growth continued to be strong and credit metrics were again in line with our expectations. We’ve contained operating costs and reallocated a significant part of those savings to fund many of the initiatives that are now driving growth across the business. Throughout the turnaround, we’ve dealt effectively with competitive challenges and redesigned our marketing, customer service and risk management capabilities for the digital age.

Shares of Amex closed Wednesday at $92.09, with a consensus analyst price target of $90.52 and a 52-week range of $60.27 to $93.35. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was initially down 0.7% at $91.40 in the after-hours trading session.