American Express Shares Up Slightly After Company's Quarterly Sales Beat Expectations

By Claudia Assis Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of American Express Co. rose slightly late Thursday after the credit card company reported fourth-quarter earnings below expectations but quarterly sales slightly above forecasts. American Express said it earned $825 million, or 88 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $899 million, or 89 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Sales rose to $8 billion, down from $8.4 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 98 cents a share on sales of $7.9 billion. The quarter included higher spending on growth initiatives, largely marketing and promotion expenses, the company said in a statement. Shares of American Express ended the regular trading down 1%, which compares with losses of 0.4% for the S&P 500 index .

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