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Fast Money

4 stocks to watch as American Express struggles

4 ways to buy credit

American Express reported earnings that topped expectations Thursday, but "Fast Money" traders remain skeptical of its battered stock.

The credit-card company posted quarterly earnings per share of $1.23, excluding certain items, on $8.39 billion in revenue. But total sales and net income fell from the previous year, as a stronger U.S. dollar and the loss of an exclusive partnership with Costco Wholesale continue to drag on the company.

American Express shares fell about 4 percent in after-hours trading. They have plunged nearly 30 percent in the last year.

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Amid struggles for American Express, trader Guy Adami said he would prefer shares of credit-card competitors MasterCard and Visa. While both stocks have slid this year with broader markets, they are positive in the last 12 months.

Shares of payments processor PayPal have plunged nearly 14 percent this year but look appealing on weakness, said trader Dan Nathan. He believes PayPal is a step ahead of American Express on technology development.

While he said he does not like buying "laggards and losers," trader Steve Grasso contended that American Express has "upside" if can gain momentum on any good news.

People walk in front of the American Express offices in New York City.
AmEx profits, revenue slide past analyst estimates


Dan Nathan

Dan is long WMT Feb Put Spread, long PFE buy-write, long VZ Buy-write, long XLU Feb Call Spread, long QCOM Feb Calls, long UUP, long TWTR, long TLT Apr risk reversal; he is short SPY and covered some SPY short today.

Steve Grasso

Steve is Long AAPL, AEO, BA, BAC, CC, DD, DIS, DECK, EVGN, KBH, MJNA, MU, OLN, PFE, PHM, T, TWTR, GDX firm is long CXO, OXY, BP, CVX, RIG, MCD kids own EFA, EFG, EWJ, IJR, SPY

Karen Finerman

Karen is long BAC, C, FL, GOOG, GOOGL, JPM, LYV, KORS, M, SEDG, SPY calls, URI, she is short SPY. Her firm is long ANTM, AAPL, BAC, C, C calls, FINL, FL, GOOG, GOOGL, JPM, KORS, LYV, M, MOH, NRF, PLCE, URI, her firm is short IWM, MDY, SPY. Karen Finerman is on the board of GrafTech International.

Guy Adami

Guy Adami is long CELG, EXAS, GDX, INTC, Guy Adami's wife, Linda Snow, works at Merck.