New York - January 28, 2008 - AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY (NYSE: AXP) today reported fourth quarter income from continuing operations* of $839 million, down 6 percent from $895 million a year ago. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were $0.71, down 3 percent from $0.73 a year ago.
Net income totaled $831 million for the quarter, down 10 percent from $922 million a year ago. On a per share basis, net income was $0.71, down 5 percent from $0.75 a year ago.
Consolidated revenues net of interest expense rose 10 percent to $7.4 billion, up from $6.7 billion a year ago.
Consolidated expenses totaled $4.7 billion, up 3 percent from $4.6 billion a year ago.
The Company's return on equity (ROE) was 37.3 percent, up from 34.7 percent a year ago.
For the full year, the Company reported income from continuing operations of $4.0 billion, up 12 percent from $3.6 billion a year ago. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations rose to $3.39, up 16 percent from $2.92 a year ago.
Net income for the full year was $4.0 billion, an increase of 8 percent from the previous year. Earnings per share on a diluted basis increased to $3.36, up 12 percent from $2.99.
"Results for the year met or exceeded all of our long-term financial targets, even though we saw clear signs of a weakening economy and business environment in December," said Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive. "Strong Cardmember spending and the nearly eight and a half million new cards we added in 2007 represented a continuing return on multi-year business-building investments.
"Despite the December weakness that we discussed a few weeks ago, fourth- quarter business volumes and credit indicators continued to be in the top tier of the industry. Marketing and related investments remained focused on premium segments of the market. Each of our customer groups and geographic regions contributed to the 16 percent increase in Cardmember spending.
"The fourth-quarter additions to reserves were appropriate for an environment that is more difficult than we have seen in recent years. While our outlook for 2008 remains cautious, and we continue to expect slower earnings growth in the year ahead, we are not changing our fundamental approach to managing the business. We expect to take advantage of growth opportunities in those parts of the market with strong underlying economics.
* As previously announced, the Company entered into an agreement to sell its international banking subsidiary, American Express Bank Ltd.(AEB), which is now included in