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American Express earnings forecast tops expectations, as company boosts dividend

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American Express Co. exceeded $50 billion in annual revenue last year for the first time, buoyed by continued strong spending levels among its customer base.

While the card giant came up short of profit expectations for the fourth quarter, it delivered an upbeat earnings outlook for the full year ahead. The company also announced that it would be boosting its dividend by 15%.

American Express
logged fourth-quarter net income of $1.57 billion, or $2.07 a share, compared with $1.72 billion, or $2.18 a share, in the year-ago quarter. The FactSet consensus was for $2.23 a share.

Quarterly revenue net of interest expense rose to $14.18 billion from $12.16 billion, while analysts were looking for $14.23 billion. Annual revenue came in at $52.86 billion.

“Our performance demonstrates that our strategy is working, and our business is in an even stronger position today than before the pandemic,” Chief Executive Stephen Squeri said in a release.

See also: Visa rides a wave of spending to an earnings beat

Total network volume was $413.3 billion for the quarter, up from $368.1 billion a year before.

American Express noted that total provisions for credit losses were $1.03 billion, compared with $53 million a year earlier. The increase reflects a $462 million reserve build, compared with a $168 million net reserve release a year before, along with higher net write-offs in the latest period.

Nonetheless, American Express said in the release that “credit metrics remained strong in the current quarter and below pre-pandemic levels.”

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For the full year, the company expects to grow revenue by 15% to 17% and see $11.00 to $11.40 in earnings per share, both of which are ahead of what analysts were modeling. The FactSet consensus was for $58.82 billion, which would be about 11% above 2022 levels. Analysts were also expecting $10.53 in EPS.

“Our performance to date and the opportunities ahead position us well to deliver on our longer-term growth plan aspirations for double-digit annual revenue growth and mid-teens EPS growth,” Squeri said in the release.

Don’t miss: Mastercard earnings top expectations amid ‘remarkably resilient’ spending

American Express intends to increase its quarterly dividend to 60 cents a share from 52 cents a share, marking an increase of just over 15%.


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