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American Express quarterly profits surge as cardmembers up spending

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Thursday 19 Apr 2018

American Express quarterly profits surge as cardmembers up spending

(WebFG News) - Financial services giant American Express reported a 31% increase in its first-quarter profits on Wednesday as a result of an impressive double-digit revenue growth.
Amex's earnings of $1.60bn, or $1.86 on a per share basis, topped estimates on the Street, as did revenues thanks to higher cardmember spending and loan growth.

Pre-tax income meanwhile rose 13% to $2.08bn.

The New York City-based group saw revenues, net of interest expense, for the quarter gained 12% year-on-year to $9.72bn, ahead of the consensus estimate of $9.14bn.

Card Member spending also grew 12% and provisions for losses were up 35% to $775m, although total expenses for the lender's first quarter increased 9% to $6.86bn.

"Our year is off to a good start with double-digit growth in billed business, revenues and earnings," said Stephen Squeri, Amex's newest chairman and chief executive officer.

"Card Member spending grew 12%, and we acquired 3.5 million new cards across our global issuing business, reflecting in part the recent Hilton portfolio acquisition. Credit indicators are in line with our expectations, and the loan portfolio grew 16%," he said.

The Republican party's December tax reforms also helped drive Amex forward, just as it did many other companies, dropping its total income tax bill by $140m.

"We expect revenues to be up at least 8% this year and EPS to be at the high end of the $6.90 to $7.30 range we set back in January," Squeri added.

As of 1640 BST, shares had shot up 7.20% to $102.01p.

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