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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