NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- American Express (AXP) late on Thursday announced a 5% year-over-year increase in fourth-quarter revenue, but its bottom-line earnings results were below analysts' expectations.
The card lender and payment processor said it earned $1.308 billion during the fourth quarter, or $1.21 a share, on revenue of $8.547 billion. Earnings fell short of the consensus estimates of $1.343 billion, or $1.26 a share, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, although the revenue figure came in ahead of the consensus estimate of $8.540 billion.
Earnings were up from $637 million, or 56 cents a share, during the fourth quarter of 2012, when the company booked $594 million in charges, after tax, for restructuring, enhancements to its rewards program and reimbursements to customers springing from a settlement with regulators over the cross-selling of "credit protection" services to customers.
For all of 2013, American Express earned $5.359 billion, or $4.88 a share, on revenue of $32.974 billion, increasing from earnings of $4.482 billion, or $3.89 a share, on revenue of $31.555 billion, during 2012.
The company reported returns on average equity (ROE) of 27.8% for the fourth quarter and for 2013. The full-year ROE was up from 23.1% during 2012.
Shares of American Express were up 0.2% in aftermarket trading, to $88.12.
Fourth-quarter noninterest revenue was up 4% year-over-year, to $7.228 billion, while noninterest revenue also grew 4% year-over-year, to $27.927 billion.
Net interest income for the fourth quarter rose 11% from a year earlier to $1.319 billion. Net interest revenue for all of 2013 rose 9% to $5.047 billion.
American Express said its operating expenses were "well contained" during the fourth quarter, totaling $6.039 billion, for a decline of 8% from a year earlier, because of the above mentioned special items during the fourth quarter of 2012. For all of 2013, operating expenses totaled $22.976 billion, down 1% from a year earlier.
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-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.