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American Express’ Profit Rises As Cardholder Spending Grows

Credit card giant American Express (AXP) has reported a first quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations as cardholder spending continues to grow.

The New York-based company, whose clients tend to be affluent, reported earnings per share of
$3.33 U.S. compared to $2.95 U.S. that was anticipated by analysts, according to FactSet data.

Revenue in Q1 totaled $15.8 billion U.S., which matched Wall Street expectations. Sales were up 11% from a year earlier.

American Express said that cardholder spending increased 7% from a year ago.

Billed business, which represents the transaction value on American Express credit cards, rose 6% during the quarter, to $367 billion U.S.

The company said that it set aside $1.3 billion U.S. in loan loss provisions in Q1 compared with $1.1 billion U.S. a year earlier.

In terms of guidance, American Express maintained its previous revenue growth forecast of 9% to 11% and a profit estimate of $12.65 U.S. to $13.15 U.S. per share.

The stock of American Express has risen 32% over the last 12 months to trade at $217.50 U.S. per share.