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Updated from 1:50 p.m. (EDT)

Third-quarter net income from charge card giant

American Express

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fell from a year ago and revenue missed Wall Street expectations.

Shares of American Express, which were trading higher before the firm released earnings in early afternoon, quickly tanked. The stock most recently traded at $56.84, down $1.20, or 2%. The stock is up 12% for the year.

In the third quarter, net income fell 6% to $967 million, or 79 cents a share, compared to $1.03 billion, or 82 cents a share, a year ago.

But earnings from continuing operations, which excludes results from

Ameriprise Financial

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, rose 11%. American Express spun-off Ameriprise, its former financial planning arm, last September.

On an operating basis, the company earned $956 million, or 78 cents a share, compared to $856 million, or 69 cents a share a year earlier. Earnings beat analysts' earnings estimates by 2 cents, according to Thomson Financial.

Third-quarter profit from continuing operations includes a $33 million pre-tax gain on the sale of card operations in Malaysia and Indonesia. That gain was somewhat offset by a $12 million pre-tax restructuring charge.

Net revenue rose 12% from a year earlier to $6.76 billion, but missed the analyst estimate of $6.81 billion. American Express says that revenues increased from "higher discount revenues, increased card member lending finance charges, and higher commissions and fees from its travel business, among other things."

Matthew Park, a Prudential Equity Group analyst, attributes the firm's revenue miss to "slower than expected card spending growth.''

In fact, net card fees fell 10% from a year ago to $462 million. AmEx says a "reclassification" of certain card acquisition-related costs "suppressed'' consolidated net revenue growth by about 1%.

Revenue from the company's U.S. card business, its largest segment, improved by 16% from a year ago, to $3.5 billion, while revenue from international card and global commercial services rose just 3% to $2.3 billion.

The company's total number of "cards-in-force" rose 11% to 76.5 million. Approximately 2.1 million cards were added during the third quarter.

Card-billed businesses rose 15.2%, to $140.3 billion. Card member spending per credit card rose 6.1%, to $2,770, it says.

Noninterest expenses rose 10%, to $5.42 billion. American Express increased its provision for losses on charge cards, cardmember lending and investment certificates by 8%, to $798 million. However the majority of that increase was from a rise in loss provision against its investment certificates.