By Will Feuer

 

American Express Co. posted higher sales and earnings in the fourth quarter as the company said spending among card members reached a new record.

The New York City-based credit-card company logged fourth-quarter net income of $1.72 billion, up from $1.44 billion a year earlier. Earnings were $2.18 a share, up from $1.76 a share in the same three-month period a year earlier. Analysts polled by FactSet had forecast earnings of $1.86 a share.

Revenue at the company, net of interest expense, rose 30% to $12.15 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had been expecting $11.54 billion.

"Our investment strategy enabled us to reach record levels of card member spending, maintain customer retention and satisfaction above pre-pandemic levels, increase new card acquisitions, grow our loan balances, and deepen our digital engagement with customers, producing revenue growth of 30% in the fourth quarter and 17% for the full year," Chairman and Chief Executive Stephen Squeri said.

The company recorded provisions for credit losses of $53 million, compared with a benefit of $111 million a year earlier. The company cited lower reserve releases compared with a year ago.

Consolidated expenses for the full year rose 22% to $33.1 billion, the company said, due in part to higher marketing investments and higher usage of travel-related benefits. Operating expenses were flat, reflecting increased compensation, offset by net gains on Amex Ventures equity investments.

Write to Will Feuer at Will.Feuer@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 25, 2022 07:14 ET (12:14 GMT)

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