American Express Co. (AXP - Get Report) posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Friday, and maintained its full-year profit guidance, as higher U.S. billion offset slower international growth.
American Express said earnings for the three months ending in June came in at $2.07 per share, up 12.5% from the same period last year and 3 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revues, American Express said, rose 8% to $10.8 billion, matching analysts' estimates. The group's quarterly U.S. billed business grew 7% from last year to $209.2 billion, the company said, while global bill edged 1.4% higher to $102.5 billion.
Looking into 2019. American Express said it will maintain its earlier guidance of an adjusted earnings per share range of between $7.85 and $8.35 per share.
"We continued to enhance the benefits and services we offer and that helped us add 2.9 million new proprietary cards this quarter," said CEO Steve Squeri. "Nearly 70% of those new consumer cards we acquired this quarter carry an annual fee - a strong sign that Card Members appreciate and are willing to pay for premium value."
"I feel very good about the power of our business model and our returns on the investments we've been making to drive share, scale and relevance," he added. "Given this quarter's solid results, and all that we've achieved during the first half of the year, we are reaffirming our 2019 financial guidance of 8 to 10 percent revenue growth and full-year results that are in line with our EPS range."
American Express shares were marked 0.07% higher in pre-market trading immediately following the earnings release to indicate an opening bell price of $128.72 each, a move that leaves the stock with a year-to-date advance of around 34.4%