By Will Feuer
American Express Co. reported higher revenue in the first quarter as the company said cardholder spending hit record highs in March.
The New York-based credit card company posted net income of $2.10 billion in the first quarter, up from $2.24 billion a year earlier. Earnings were $2.73 per share, down from $2.74 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet had forecast earnings of $2.40 per share.
The company’s revenue, net of interest expense, rose 29% to $11.74 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $11.62 billion.
The rise in revenue was driven by global cardholder spending growth of 35%, with volumes hitting a monthly record in March, chief executive Stephen Squeri said.
“We added 3 million new exclusive cards during the quarter, with acquisitions of US Consumer Platinum and Gold Cards and US Business Platinum Cards reaching all-time highs for the quarter. As travel activity continues to pick up, we also saw record monthly acquisitions for our Delta cards in March,” he said.
Spending on travel and entertainment jumped 121% from a year earlier and “essentially reached pre-pandemic levels globally for the first time in March, driven by continued strength in consumer travel,” it said. he added.
The company’s provisions for credit losses were a benefit of $33 million, compared to a benefit of $675 million a year ago, reflecting a lower net release of reserves in the current quarter.
Consolidated expenses for the quarter rose 34% to $9.1 billion, the company said, reflecting higher customer engagement costs primarily due to a 30% increase in network volumes.
Write to Will Feuer at Will.Feuer@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswire
April 22, 2022 07:15 ET (11:15 GMT)
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