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American Express Meets Estimates, Offers Lukewarm Forecast

American Express

(AXP) - Get American Express Company Report

said Monday it met Wall Street's expectations for the fourth quarter, but indicated that earnings per share growth for 2001 will be at the low end of its 12% to 15% forecast because of weak financial markets and the economic slowdown.

The banking and travel services company, based in New York, said it earned $677 million, or 50 cents a diluted share, up from $606 million, or 44 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Seventeen analysts polled by

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First Call/Thomson Financial

were calling for the company to earn 50 cents a share in the quarter.

Analysts polled by First Call are expecting the company to earn $2.35 for 2001, which translates into about a 13.5% increase over 2000.

Shares of American Express lost $3.13, or 6.4%, to $45.50 in recent

New York Stock Exchange

trading.