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American Express CEO: 'We're not seeing any changes in consumer spending'

American Express (AXP) CEO Stephen Squeri has a message for investors sending the stock lower on Friday following the company's third-quarter earnings release: Read the release again.

"We're not seeing any changes in consumer spending," Squeri told Yahoo Finance. "We have strong credit quality."

The CEO also addressed concerns about a business slowdown should a recession materialize.

"If anything changes, we have plans in place to pivot," Squeri added. "If I didn't say that, you would think I was an idiot. What CEO doesn't have plans in place for recession? You know, I mean, everybody has, but I had plans in place in 2019. And I was able to pull it off the shelf to navigate the pandemic and that worked out pretty good for us."

Amex stock fell more than 4% in pre-market trading. Here is how American Express performed compared to Wall Street estimates:

  • Net Sales: $13.6 billion vs. $13.49 billion

  • Diluted EPS: $2.47 vs. $2.40

  • Segment Performance:

    • U.S. Consumer Services: Sales +27%/Profits +4.8%

    • Commercial Services: Sales +23%/Profits +10.7%

    • International Card Services: Sales +19%/Profits -38%

    • Global Merchant & Network Services: Sales +26%/Profits +54%

American Express reiterated its full-year sales forecast for 23% to 25% growth. Earnings are now expected to be "above" the top end of Amex's prior range of $9.25 to $9.65 per share.

FILE - In this July 27, 2007 file photo, signs for American Express, Master Card and Visa credit cards are shown on a New York store's door. The stress from deepening debt is becoming a major pain in the neck, and backs and heads and stomachs, for millions of Americans. When people are dealing with mountains of debt, they're much more likely to report health problems, too, according to an Associated Press-AOL Health poll. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
In this July 27, 2007 file photo, signs for American Express, Master Card and Visa credit cards are shown on a New York store's door. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

And on top of strong consumer spending last quarter, Squeri thinks it will be a good holiday season.

"So my view is I think we're going to have strong retail spending, and we'll have strong travel spending through the holiday season," the CEO said.

Squeri's comments echo those from other CEOs this earnings season, including Bank of America's (BAC) Brian Moynihan, who described the American consumer as "resilient" in a Yahoo Finance interview.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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