Amex Trumpets Q3 Figures

American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) reported stronger-than-expected earnings for its third quarter and raised its FY18 earnings guidance.

AXP reported third-quarter net income of $1.7 billion, up 22% from $1.4 billion a year ago. Diluted earnings per share were $1.88, up 25% from $1.51 per share a year ago.

Third-quarter consolidated total revenues net of interest expense were a record $10.1 billion, up 9% from $9.3 billion a year ago. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates, adjusted revenues net of interest expense grew 10%.

The increase reflected higher spending by consumer, small business, and corporate Card Members, as well as higher loan volumes and fee income.

Consolidated provisions for losses were $817 million, up 6% from $770 million a year ago. The increase reflected growth in the loan portfolio and a higher lending write-off rate, moderated by stable delinquency rates.

Consolidated expenses were $7.2 billion, up 8% from $6.7 billion a year ago. The rise primarily reflected higher rewards and other customer engagement costs. Operating expenses declined 1% from the year-ago period, which included charges related to the company’s U.S. Loyalty Coalition and Prepaid businesses.

Said CEO Stephen J. Squeri, This marks our sixth consecutive quarter of strong adjusted revenue growth and our investments in new benefits, services and digital capabilities continued to generate momentum as we enter the latter part of 2018.

Shares hiked $4.32, or 4.2%, to $107.16