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AmEx Revenue Rises for First Time in 5 Quarters

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American Express chairman and CEO Kenneth Chenault.Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

American Express reported a rise in quarterly revenue for the first time in five quarters, helped by higher spending by card members in the United States, its biggest market.

The company’s total revenue, net of interest expense, rose 1.7% to $8.09 billion in the first quarter ended March 31.

Analysts on average had estimated revenue of about $8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company’s shares rose more than 3% in after-market trading on Wednesday.

AmEx (AXP) said revenue, net of interest expense, from its U.S. Card Services business, rose 3% to $3.28 billion.

Net income attributable to common shareholders fell to $1.39 billion, or $1.45 per share, from $1.51 billion, or $1.48 per share, a year earlier.

 

AmEx, which has long catered to affluent customers, has struggled with the loss of long-term contracts, including one with retailer Costco Wholesale Corp.

“We continued to make very good progress on expanding our merchant network here in the United States and internationally,” said Chief Executive Kenneth Chenault.

Total costs rose about 5% to $5.47 billion, largely due to a 19% rise in marketing and promotion expenses during the quarter.

According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, AmEx earned $1.43 per share, excluding certain items, beating analysts’ average estimate of $1.35.