American Express Co. shares rose 2.6% late Wednesday after the credit-card company reported first-quarter earnings and sales above analyst expectations. American Express said it earned a first-quarter net income of $1.2 billion, or $1.34 a share, compared with $1.4 billion, or $1.45 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales reached $7.9 billion, down 2% from $8.1 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of $1.28 a share on sales of $7.8 billion. Card-member spending rose 8% when adjusted for losing the Costco business last year and foreign-exchange rates, the company said. The company "entered 2017 stronger, more focused and more resilient," CEO Kenneth I. Chenault said. "There is still work to do, but our underlying performance this quarter gives me added confidence in our ability to deliver our 2017 EPS outlook of $5.60-$5.80," he said.
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