American Express beats 3Q earnings expectations, misses revenue forecasts

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FILE - This Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 file photo shows the corner of an American Express card in Surfside, Fla. American Express Co., releases quarterly financial results on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

NEW YORK — American Express Co. said Wednesday that its net income climbed about 9 percent in the third quarter, as spending by cardholders increased.

Even so, the New York-based credit card issuer's revenue fell short of Wall Street expectations.

Spending by U.S. holders of American Express cards grew 9 percent during the July-September period. Loan balances rose 5 percent.

Management noted that revenue continues to rise at a steady pace, but is growing below company's long-term target.

All told, American Express reported that net income rose to $1.47 billion, or 1.40 per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with net income of $1.35 billion, or $1.25 per share, a year earlier.

The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.38 per share.

Revenue net of interest expense was $8.33 billion, up slightly from $8.3 billion a year earlier. That fell short of Wall Street's forecasts, which called for revenue of $8.37 billion, according to Zacks.

Shares in American Express ended regular trading down $1.81, or 2.2 percent, and declined another 45 cents to $80.48 in late trading.

The stock is down nearly 11 percent since the beginning of the year. By comparison, the Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen nearly 1 percent.

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