AmEx to Cut 5,400 Jobs, Take Big Quarterly Charge

American Express
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

American Express announced that it will eliminate 5,400 jobs this year and take a $400 million restructuring charge in the fourth quarter.

American Express said it plans to reduce its workforce, currently at 63,500, by 4 to 6 percent by the end of 2013 as it shifts more of its customer service online.

Along with a number of other costs, the charges will halve the company's fourth-quarter net income to 56 cents a share.

Excluding these items, American Express earned $1.2 billion, or $1.09 a share, on revenue of $8.1 billion. For the year ago period, net income was $1.2 billion, or $1.01 per share.

Analysts had expected $1.06 a share on revenue $8.12 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Maria's Observation: American Express Beats Estimates

"We've delivered strong results since coming out of the recession and have been consistently gaining share in a very competitive U.S. industry," CEO Kenneth Chenault said in an statement.

The company's CFO Daniel Henry said on the conference call that American Express is sticking with its goals for revenue growth, earnings per share growth and return on equity.

American Express also said card-member spending rose 8 percent, "despite a brief dip in late October/early November reflecting the impact of Hurricane Sandy on consumers and businesses in the northeastern United States."

On the conference call, Chenault said that prior to this holiday season it had the highest single day of card authorizations in December 2011. This holiday season it exceeded that level 12 times, suggesting strong holiday spending by its cardholders.

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By CNBC's Justin Menza