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AMEX up Despite Figures

American Express (NYSE:AXP) shares of the credit card company rose Friday despite weaker-than-expected results for the fourth quarter. American Express reported $2.07 in earnings per share on $14.18 billion of revenue. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were looking for $2.22 per share on $14.22 billion of revenue. However, American Express’ guidance for 2023 was better than anticipated for earnings and revenue. Also, AMEX said it would be increasing its dividend by 15%.

The financial giant reported full-year net income of $7.5 billion, or $9.85 per share, compared with net income of $8.1 billion, or $10.02 per share, a year ago.

Said CEO Stephen Squeri, “We ended 2022 with record revenues, which grew 25% from a year earlier, and earnings per share of $9.85, both well above the guidance that we provided when we introduced our long-term growth plan at the start of last year, despite a mixed economic environment.”

Fourth-quarter consolidated total revenues net of interest expense were $14.2 billion, up 17 percent from $12.1 billion a year ago. The increase was primarily driven by increased Card Member spending, as well as higher net interest income, reflecting higher average loan volumes.

Consolidated provisions for credit losses were $1.0 billion, compared with $53 million a year ago. The increase reflected a reserve build of $492 million, compared with a net reserve release of $168 million a year ago, as well as higher net write-offs in the current quarter. Credit metrics remained strong in the current quarter and below pre-pandemic levels.

Shares bounced $11.94, or 7.7%, to begin Friday at $167.82.