Salem Radio Network News Friday, May 20, 2022

Business

AmEx profit powered by record spending levels

(Reuters) -American Express Co exceeded market estimates for quarterly profit on Tuesday as higher spending on travel and entertainment and the holiday season shopping rush drove up volumes at the credit-card issuer to record levels.

People, particularly Millennial and Gen Z consumers, have been spending more on AmEx cards following the vaccine-aided return of pre-pandemic habits like dining out and international travel.

That has helped the credit-card giant recover from the pandemic slump, with spending on travel and entertainment more than doubling in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

“Our investment strategy enabled us to reach record levels of card member spending … increase new card acquisitions, grow our loan balances,” Chief Executive Officer Stephen Squeri said in a statement.

The company expects the momentum to continue in 2022, estimating annual net revenue to grow between 18% and 20% and earnings per share of $9.25 to $9.65.

Its shares were 3.72% higher before the bell, bucking broader market weakness.

In the fourth quarter, the company’s total revenue excluding interest expense rose 30% to around $12.15 billion.

Net income came in at $1.7 billion, or $2.18 per share, compared with $1.44 billion, or $1.76 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average were expecting a figure of $1.87 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The company, however, saw a 29% surge in expenses due to increased compensation and higher usage of travel-related benefit, in line with figures from other major financial institutions.

(Reporting by Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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