* Fourth-quarter earnings $1.21/share
* Earnings $1.25/share excluding litigation expense
* Revenue up 5 pct at $8.55 bln
Jan 16 Credit card company American Express Co's
quarterly profit more than doubled as customers spent
more in the holiday season in the United States, its core
U.S. retail sales increased 3.8 percent in the 2013 holiday
season, according to data released by the National Retail
Federation on Tuesday.
The same day, the U.S. Commerce Department said retail sales
including automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants rose 1
percent from a year earlier in the October-December period. ()
American Express said worldwide spending on its cards rose 8
percent in the quarter ended Dec. 31, the biggest jump in four
Net income rose to $1.31 billion, or $1.21 per share, in the
fourth quarter from $637 million, or 56 cents per share, a year
Total revenue, net of interest expense, increased 5 percent
to $8.55 billion. Revenue at the company's U.S. card services
unit rose 8 percent in the quarter.
American Express earned $1.25 per share, excluding expenses
related to merchant litigation settlements reached last month.
Analysts on average had expected the company to earn $1.26
per share on revenue of $8.54 billion, according to Thomson
U.S. regulators fined the company in December over deceptive
and misleading practices in selling credit card add-on products,
and forced it to repay a total of $59.5 million to duped
American Express shares closed little changed at $87.78 on
Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock rose slightly
in trading after the bell.