American Express earnings: $1.42/share vs $1.32 EPS est.

Amex earnings fall but beat estimates

American Express posted quarterly earnings that easily topped Wall Street's expectations but revenue that fell short of projections on Wednesday, as expense control helped overcome a stronger U.S. dollar's drag on international sales.

The financial services company reported second-quarter profit of $1.42 per share on $8.28 billion in revenue. Earnings fell 1 percent from the year-earlier period, while sales dipped 4 percent.

Analysts expected AmEx to report earnings of $1.32 a share on $8.46 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters. Shares slipped more than 1 percent in extended trading.

The company said consolidated expenses fell 4 percent from the previous year, to $5.6 billion. Capital return helped mitigate some of AmEx's currency struggles, the company added.

"Against the backdrop of an uneven global economy, card member spending grew 6 percent, adjusted for FX, with strong performance in most international regions," said Kenneth Chenault, AmEx chairman and CEO, in a statement.

AmEx plans to ramp up investments "substantially" for the rest of the year, Chenault said. The company wants to hone in on gaining new card members, expanding its international footprint and gaining more traction with small and medium businesses.

"We continue to see opportunities across the company and this quarter marked the initial stage of a ramp-up in investment spending on growth initiatives," he said.

Karen Bleier | AFP | Getty Images

Card member spending drove sales in the U.S. card services segment to $4.7 billion, or 6 percent higher year over year. Net income in the business rose 15 percent to $886 million.

Revenue in the international card services segment slipped 10 percent, but climbed 5 percent adjusted for currency. Net income soared 62 percent to $125 million as expenses fell 16 percent.

During the first quarter, American Express said it may see a modest annual decline in full-year 2015 earnings as it ramps up investments to help offset the impact from severing ties with wholesale retailer Costco in the U.S.

Last month, a federal appeals court upheld a ruling that said AmEx could not forbid retailers from offering incentives to customers who use lower-cost cards, saying the company's rules for merchants violated antitrust laws.

The company hasn't quantified the amount of the potential financial impact from the ruling, but it previously said it could suffer a material adverse effect on its business if it lost the case, according to The Wall Street Journal.

AmEx shares have declined about 15 percent year-to-date, underperforming its peers Visa and MasterCard, which are up around 9.5 percent and 12 percent, respectively, according to FactSet data.