Finance

American Express earnings beats: $1.86 per share, vs $1.71 per share expected

Key Points
  • American Express shares rise after its first-quarter results beat estimates on Wednesday.
  • Results are the first since CEO Stephen Squeri took the helm of the company in February.
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American Express beats the Street

American Express shares rose 6 percent on Thursday after the company reported first-quarter earnings that beat estimates, helped by an increase in spending by cardholders.

The company said Wednesday it now expects 2018 earnings per share at the high end of its outlook of $6.90 to $7.30.

The results for the quarter ended March 31 were AmEx's first since CEO Stephen Squeri took the helm of the company in February.

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

AmEx has spent heavily on rewards to lure customers as it faces more competition from banks like J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup.

Here are the results:

—EPS: $1.86, compared to an estimate of $1.71 from Thomson Reuters

—Revenue: $9.72 billion, compared to an estimate of $9.46 billion, according to Thomson Reuters

In January, former CEO Ken Chenault said AmEx will suspend its buyback program for the first half of the year to rebuild its capital because of an upfront charge triggered by the new tax law.