American Express (AXP) Tops Q1 EPS by $1.13, Revenues Miss

April 23, 2021 7:01 AM EDT
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Price: $153.98 +1.10%

Revenue Growth %: -12.0%

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(Updated - April 23, 2021 7:04 AM EDT)

American Express (NYSE: AXP) reported Q1 EPS of $2.74, $1.13 better than the analyst estimate of $1.61. Revenue for the quarter came in at $9.06 billion versus the consensus estimate of $9.17 billion.

  • First-quarter net income of $2.2 billion, or $2.74 per share, compared with net income of $367 million, or $0.41 per share, a year ago.
    • The results reflected the impact of $1.05 billion ($802 million after tax) in credit reserve releases2, primarily driven by continued improvements in the macroeconomic outlook and strong credit performance.
  • First-quarter consolidated total revenues net of interest expense were $9.1 billion, down 12 percent from $10.3 billion a year ago.
    • The quarter primarily reflected declines in Card Member spending and loan volumes, as well as a lower average discount rate compared to the prior year.

“I am pleased with our results in the first quarter, where we saw continued improvements in our core business along with best-in-class credit performance, and I’m especially encouraged by the progress we’re making to rebuild our growth momentum going forward,” said Stephen J. Squeri, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

“Card member spending excluding travel and entertainment categories was 11 percent higher on an FX-adjusted basis than it was in the first quarter of 2019, and continues to represent the majority of spend on our network. We’ve also seen an uptick across all categories of travel and entertainment spending in the U.S. in recent weeks, increasing our confidence that domestic consumer travel will continue to recover.

“We view 2021 as a transition year, where we are focused on making investments to rebuild growth momentum in our core business. We’ve fired up our card acquisition engine, adding 2.1 million new proprietary cards during the quarter. Also, the additional value we provided on several of our premium products is helping to drive increased Card Member engagement, and our attrition rates and customer satisfaction levels remain better than pre-pandemic levels.

“Our investments to scale next horizon opportunities are well underway. We began the rollout of the Kabbage digital platform to our small business customers, and through our joint venture in China, we have now added more than 14 million merchants to our network.

“Given the progress we’ve seen thus far and clear indicators that the economy is improving, I’m even more confident in our roadmap to achieve our aspiration of returning to the original EPS expectations we had for 2020 in 2022.”

For earnings history and earnings-related data on American Express (AXP) click here.

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