* 1st-qtr earnings per share $1.15 vs estimates $1.12
* Revenue $7.88 bln vs estimates $8.03 bln
* Cardmember spending up 7 pct, adjusted for forex
April 17 Credit card company American Express
Co's quarterly revenue came in below analysts'
expectations as cardmember spending growth remained muted.
Cardmember spending in the first quarter increased 7
percent, adjusted for foreign currency translations. This was
the fourth successive quarter of single-digit growth after nine
quarters of double-digit growth.
Expense accounts have come under greater scrutiny as
companies look to cut costs to protect profit margins, hurting
the credit card lender, which gets more than a quarter of its
U.S. billed business from affluent corporate customers.
However, American Express's billed business was up 6 percent
at $224.5 billion and total cards in force crossed 100 million
during the quarter.
The company has the lowest delinquency rate among the large
credit card companies, including JPMorgan Chase,
Discover Financial, Capital One, Bank of America
It set aside $497 million to cover future bad loans in the
quarter, 21 percent more than it had provisioned last year,
reflecting its larger lending portfolio.
American Express, which lends directly to consumers and also
competes with Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc to
process credit card transactions, said global network and
merchant services revenue increased 4 percent to $1.3 billion.
Consolidated expenses during the quarter remained in check,
rising marginally, as the company looks to control costs and
maintain a leaner operating structure.
The company said in January it would cut about 5,400 jobs as
part of a global restructuring and took a related $600 million
Profit for the quarter ended March 31 rose to $1.28 billion,
or $1.15 per share, from $1.26 billion, or $1.07 per share, a
Total revenue, net of interest expense, increased 4 percent
to $7.88 billion.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.12 per share
on revenue of $8.03 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
American Express shares were marginally down in trading
after the bell. They closed at $64.13 on the New York Stock
Exchange on Wednesday.