American Express Q1 Profit Surges as Loan Loss Provisions Fall (AXP)

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Credit card issuer American Express Company ( AXP ) late Thursday said its first quarter profit more than doubled from last year, helped by a rebound in consumer spending and improved credit quality.

The New York-based company reported first quarter net income of $873 million, or 73 cents per share, compared with $361 million, or 31 cents per share, in the year-ago period. On average, Wall Street analysts expected a smaller profit of 64 cents per share.

Revenue jumped 11% from last year to $6.6 billion. That gain was fueled by 16% higher spending by AmEx customers compared with last year.

The company also said its loan loss provisions were cut in half from last year, to $687 million, while its net charge-off rate in the U.S. fell to 7.2%.

American Express shares rose $1.08, or +2.3%, in premarket trading Friday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of AXP have a 1.54% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $46.77. The stock has technical support in the $42 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $50-$51 price levels. We would remain on the sidelines for now.

American Express Company ( AXP ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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