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Today's Analysis On Capital One And American Express: Credit Quality To Lift Card Providers

Stocks in this article: AXP COF

LONDON, January 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Credit service providers continue to improve even if the latest earnings reports are indicative of a flat quarter. Several key metrics suggest a profitable year for companies such as Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) and American Express Company (NYSE: AXP). StockCall Analysts completed an in-depth technical analysis on Capital One and American Express following their earnings release last week. Sign up today to access our free reports on these companies at http://www.stockcall.com/todaysopinions      

Improving credit quality is fueling optimism for credit service providers in 2013.  As credit quality gets better, credit providers typically end up with more cash, which is put towards expansion efforts or returned to investors via dividend or share buyback. It also allows lenders to set aside fewer provisions for loan losses.

The recent quarters from both Capital One and American Express illustrate this trend as they each posted lower charge-off rates than they did a year ago. Capital One had a charge off rate of 2.26% while the rate for American Express was about 2%. However, for its fourth quarter earnings, Capital One put aside $1.2 billion as provision for loan losses, which was up $137 million as compared to a year ago. StockCall's complete technical analysis report on Capital One is ready for download at http://www.StockCall.com/COF012213.pdf

American Express Co. [ Free Technical Report on AXP] [ 1 ] saw its loan losses for the recently reported quarter at all time lows. The company, however, has kept in reserve $638 million to cover any loan losses.

The industry will still face growth obstacles this year though. Relatively unchanged unemployment rates bode poorly for any upticks in card usage and spending. Stiff competition and the possibility of future regulatory changes will also challenge card providers.

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