Does Amex Deserve More Credit for Q2 Earnings?

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American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) released its second-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Friday. The company said that it had $2.07 in earnings per share (EPS) and $10.8 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $2.04 in EPS and $10.82 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.84 on $10 billion in revenue.

Second-quarter consolidated total revenues net of interest expense increased 8% to $10.8 billion. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates, adjusted revenues net of interest expense grew 10%. The increases reflected higher card member spending, loans and card fees.

Consolidated provisions for losses were $861 million, up 7% from $806 million last year. The increase reflected higher net lending write-offs driven by loan growth.

In terms of its segments, Amex reported as follows:

  • Global Consumer Services Group reported second-quarter net income of $738 million, down 4% from $770 million a year ago.
  • Global Commercial Services reported second-quarter net income of $644 million, up 14% from $564 million a year ago.
  • Global Merchant and Network Services reported second-quarter net income of $632 million, up 16% from $543 million a year ago.
  • Corporate and Other reported second-quarter net loss of $253 million, unchanged from a year ago.

Steve Squeri, board chair and chief executive, commented:

We continued to enhance the benefits and services we offer and that helped us add 2.9 million new proprietary cards this quarter. Nearly 70% of those new consumer cards we acquired this quarter carry an annual fee – a strong sign that Card Members appreciate and are willing to pay for premium value.

Shares of Amex closed Thursday at $128.40, in a 52-week range of $89.05 to $129.34. Following the announcement, the stock was down marginally in early trading indications Friday.


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