AmEx earnings: $1.48 per share vs. expected EPS of $1.37

American Express beats on bottom line
American Express beats on bottom line

American Express on Thursday reported first-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations but revenue that missed projections, citing "significant impact" from a stronger U.S. dollar on its international business.

The financial services company posted first-quarter earnings of $1.48 per share, up from $1.33 per share in the year-earlier period. Revenue for the quarter came in at $7.95 billion, lower than the comparable year-ago figure of $8.2 billion.

Shares fell 1 percent in extended trading Thursday.

It backed its previous full-year guidance, advising that earnings would stay flat or fall slightly. The company cited currency headwinds and investments to offset losses from ending its partnership with Costco Wholesale when its current agreement expires next April.

"First-quarter results showed solid core performance and continued progress in expanding the American Express franchise despite an impact from several of the headwinds we're confronting," said Kenneth Chenault, the company's chairman and CEO, in a release.

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Analysts expected American Express to post earnings per share of $1.37 on revenue of $8.2 billion, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Net income in the U.S. card services segment rose 7 percent year-over-year to $934 million. Card revenue dropped 16 percent internationally to $134 million, which "reflected the impact of the stronger U.S. dollar," the company said.

Consolidated expenses for the quarter fell a currency-adjusted 5 percent to $5.2 billion.

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"I'm encouraged by the EPS beat, by the earnings beat, but it's really going to come down to this long-term wealth creator which American Express has been over the long term," said David Sowerby, chief market analyst and portfolio manager at Loomis Sayles and Co. and an American Express shareholder, on CNBC's "Closing Bell."

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The credit card company announced last month that it planned to repurchase up to $6.6 billion in common stock starting in the second quarter. It also said it would raise its quarterly dividend to 29 cents per share beginning in the quarter.

In February, a federal judge ruled that American Express' rules for merchants restrict retailers' ability to encourage consumers to use lower-cost cards. American Express shares have slipped 13 percent this year.