As 2011 comes to a close, it's a great time to look back at
what happened to the stocks that interest you. By making sure you
know the important things that a company accomplished -- as well
as the setbacks it experienced -- you can make a better decision
about whether it's a smart investment for your portfolio.
Today, let's take a look at
) . The card company has largely fallen out of the spotlight as
the tag team of rivals
) both have a bigger presence in the credit- and debit-card
market. But AmEx has some initiatives that it hopes will get it
back in the card game, and so far, investors seem to like what
they see. Below, I'll take a closer look at the events that moved
shares of American Express this year.
Stats on American Express
Year-to-Date Stock Return
1-Year Revenue Growth
1-Year Profit Growth
Source: S&P Capital IQ.
Why's American Express up this year?
American Express is more than just its signature card business.
The company also has a
that has joined peers like
) in offering top rates to savers.
But cards are where the money is, and so AmEx has been doing
its best to make up for lost time. Unlike Visa and MasterCard,
AmEx has never had exposure to the debit-card market, which has
provided strong growth to its rivals. Yet with Congress going
high debit-card transaction fees
that card-issuing banks like
Bank of America
(C) have charged -- not to mention the
aborted attempt by B of A
and others to charge customers just to
debit cards -- AmEx may well have dodged a bullet by ignoring the
New initiatives, though, look poised to take advantage of new
trends. Earlier this year, the company said it would offer a
that will tap into the same market as debit-card users. What sets
it apart from rival prepaid providers
(Nasdaq: NTSP) , however, is that AmEx charges low fees, giving
customers a free ATM transaction every month as well as lacking
reload or foreign currency conversion fees.
In addition, AmEx is working to roll out a prepaid electronic
wallet, allowing customers to use smartphones to make payments.
It has plenty of competition, but just making the move shows that
AmEx isn't letting the financial world pass it by. That's a big
part of why AmEx did well in 2011 and why it could keep building
on its success in years to come.
AmEx isn't the only company that is tapping into a world
beyond credit cards. Take a look at this free video to discover
why your credit card may soon be absolutely worthless -- and
which stocks could benefit from the trend. Click here
to see it while it lasts.
to add American Express to My Watchlist, which can find all
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