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American Express Reports Second Quarter Net Income of $1 Billion

July 23, 2010 By: George Dooley

American Express reported second quarter net income of $1 billion, up from $337 million a year ago. Diluted per share net income was $0.84, up from $0.09 a year ago. The year-ago results include a per share reduction of $0.18 from a repurchase of preferred shares from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Spending among affluent consumers and businesses remains strong, American Express said.

Consolidated total revenues net of interest expense were $6.9 billion, up from $6.1 billion a year ago. The increase was the result of the consolidation of securitized cardmember loans and related debt onto the balance sheet in the first quarter, American Express said. Revenues also reflect higher cardmember spending, offset by a smaller loan portfolio and lower yields on both the securitized and non-securitized portions of the portfolio.

"Cardmember spending rose 16 percent and improved credit indicators continued the year-long trend that began last spring," said Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and CEO. "Spending rose across all segments with the largest increases coming from corporate cards, cards issued by our bank partners, charge cards and premium co-brand products where many cardmembers tend to pay in full each month. While the economic environment remains uneven, our net income and billed business are back at, or near, their pre-recession levels. While spending among affluent consumers and businesses remains strong, today’s cardmembers are borrowing less and paying down more of their outstanding debt. Over the last several quarters, this has translated into lower interest revenue.

"We remain cautious about the economy and the challenging regulatory environment," Chenault continued. "We also recognize that the grow-over comparisons will be more difficult in the second half. Nonetheless, there are significant opportunities to build on the momentum of the last year. We plan to maintain our investments in the business at substantial levels, and dedicate resources to select partnerships and acquisitions."



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