Thursday, April 24, 2008

AXP profit falls 6 percent in the first qarter of 2008

American Express said on Thursday first-quarter profit fell 6 percent as it set aside more money for credit losses, but results beat expectations, and shares rose in after-hours trading. Quarterly revenue climbed 11% to $7.2 billion, in line with analysts' estimates.

The company's total provisions for credit losses amounted to $1.27 billion, a 48% increase from the first quarter of 2007.

The writeoff rate in U.S. card services, including both on-balance sheet cardmember loans and off-balance sheet securitized cardmember loans, increased to 5.3% from 3.7% a year ago - faster than the company anticipated.

Chief Financial Officer Daniel Henry expects the loan-loss rate to be higher in the second quarter than in the first quarter.

U.S. card segment revenue jumped 11% to $3.7 billion more than a year ago. Revenue in the international card segment rose 22% to $1.2 billion.

U.S. card services profit fell 19% to $523 million in the first quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, as profit from international card services rose 30% to $133 million.

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