American Express earnings: 91 cents per share vs. expected EPS of 98 cents

American Express raises 2017 EPS guidance

American Express reported quarterly earnings per share that fell short of analysts' expectations on Thursday.

The credit card issuer posted fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share of 91 cents on revenue of $8.02 billion. Analysts projected American Express to report earnings of 98 cents a share on $7.95 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

American Express said its net income fell 8 percent year over year to $825 million.

The stock initially fell 2 percent in late trading before reversing to trade modestly higher. It was last seen trading slightly lower.

Kenneth Chenault, CEO and chairman of American Express, said the company's fourth-quarter results "reflect substantial progress" on its commitment to changing the trajectory of its business.

"We are ahead of plans to reset our cost base and improve our operating efficiency. We were able to make substantial investments to capitalize on opportunities in the marketplace and strengthen our competitive position," Chenault said in a statement.

Chenault said American Express expects fiscal 2017 earnings per share between $5.60 and $5.80. That range is more optimistic than the $5.61 per share that analysts had projected, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

The CEO also said "Card Member spending (adjusted for Costco and the impact of foreign exchange rates) grew 7 percent in the fourth quarter." Chenault added that American Express acquired 10 million new cards globally in 2016.

As of its Thursday close, American Express shares have rallied about 22 percent in the past year.

Last week, Oppenheimer upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "perform." The firm said the credit card issuer could benefit from improved corporate spending and Donald Trump's tax reform policies.

The company said in December that Americans were expecting to spend significantly more during the holiday season than they did in 2015, citing American Express Spending & Saving Tracker data.

Those predictions mirrored recent economic data that suggests a stronger consumer. On Friday, the National Retail Federation said retail sales increased 4 percent in November and December, topping an industry estimate that predicted they would rise 3.6 percent. Last month, The Conference Board said consumer optimism about the economy hit its highest level since August 2001.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

CNBC's Tae Kim and Krystina Gustafson contributed to this report.

American Express EPS misses, revenues beat