American Express (NYSE:AXP) reported third-quarter net earnings of $1.24 billion, up 13% from the $1.09 billion the company earned for the same period a year ago. Earnings per share were $1.03, from $0.90 a year ago, handily beating analyst consensus estimates of 96 cents per share.
The company saw increased income across all reported verticals. Earnings from U.S. card services were up 23% to $733 million, from $595 million a year ago, on higher cardmember spending. International Card Services grew at an even faster rate. That division reported quarterly income of $221 million, up 53 percent from $144 million a year ago.
Interestingly, the company said it is spending more on cardmember rewards programs but less on marketing.
“Cardmember spending was strong during the period, growing 16 percent to record levels and again outpacing most of the major bank card issuers. Credit quality continued to be excellent, with key lending metrics improving from the historically strong levels we achieved earlier in the year. The growth in operating expenses moderated this quarter, as planned, and we expect to further slow that growth towards the end of this year and into next,” said Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express.
Revenues were up 9 percent from the year-ago quarter to $7.6 billion.
Shares of American Express were trading at $45.78, down 35 cents, or 0.76% in after-hours trading.