American Express Co. shares are falling in premarket trading Friday after the card company’s first-quarter revenue came up short of expectations. The company posted first-quarter net income of $2.2 billion, or $2.74 a share, whereas it recorded net income of $367 million, or 41 cents a share, a year earlier. The net-income figure reflects the impact of $1.05 billion in credit-reserve releases as the economy and credit performance continue to improve. The FactSet consensus was for $1.61 in earnings per share. American Express’s revenue, net of interest expense, came in at $9.06 billion, down from $10.31 billion a year prior. The declines reflected a drop in member spending and loan volumes, and a lower average discount rate versus the prior period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were projecting $9.21 billion in revenue. Excluding the travel and entertainment categories, American Express saw card member spending that was 11% above what it was in the same period in 2019. In recent weeks, “all categories of travel and entertainment spending in the U.S.” have increased, Chief Executive Stephen Squeri said in a release. “We view 2021 as a transition year, where we are focused on making investments to rebuild growth momentum in our core business,” he continued. Shares are off 3.1% in premarket trading Friday. The stock has gained 16.7% over the past three months as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 9.1%.
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