American Express Earnings Left Home (AXP)

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American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) posted earnings from continuing operations of $0.21EPS, down about a 70% year-over-year decline. Revenue plunged 11% to $6.51 billion. First Call expectations were $0.22 EPS and $7.22 billion in revenue.

The company is calling the economy the harshest in decades.  It is still seeing write-offs and past-due loans rising.The total loss provision was roughly $1.4 billion.  The company’sreturn on equity fell to 21.7%, down from 37.3% a year ago.

It looks like allcard services, network & merchant, commercial services, cardservices, and even cardmember spending all looked like they were loweryear-over-year. 

At least its customers are de-leveraging as well, so that means that they won’t be overextended when the economy improves.

Shares closed down 5% at $15.20 in regular trading today, but are up 5% in after-hours action.

Many will find this report disappointing.  But in today’smarket where there is at least a building of some form of a perceivedbase.  Estimates on earnings had alreadybeen cut in more than half from just three months ago.

Jon C. Ogg
January 26, 2009