American Express misses estimates on higher provisions, expenses

(Reuters) - American Express Co <AXP.N> missed Wall Street's fourth-quarter profit estimates on Thursday, hurt by higher expenses and provisions for credit losses.

The company's shares fell 2.5 percent in extended trading after it reported that provisions for credit losses rose 14 percent to $954 million and expenses increased 9 percent to $7.7 billion.

Quarterly card customer spending rose 8.6 percent in the United States, mainly due to the splurge during the holiday season. Spending rose a muted 1.4 percent in overseas markets in the three months to Dec 31.

Discount fees, or money earned from merchants, increased 7 percent to $6.46 billion.

The credit-card issuer said its net income was $2.01 billion, or $2.32 per share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $1.21 billion, or $1.42 per share, a year earlier, when it took a charge due to a change in U.S. tax laws.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.74 per share, missing analysts' average estimate of $1.80 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv data.

Revenue, net of interest expense, rose 7.9 percent to $10.47 billion.

(Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

01/17/2019 16:51

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