American Express Could Have Bottomed, Jim Cramer Says


American Express (AXP) - Get Report reported stronger than expected earnings before the opening bell Friday morning.

The credit card company reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.98, exceeding consensus expectations of the $1.69. Revenue came in at around $10.3 billion, largely flat year over year.

However, the company noted a strong impact from the economic shutdown instituted to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

"The first two months of 2020 continued the strong momentum we have delivered over the past two years, but we're now in a different world. The deterioration in the economy due to COVID-19 impacts that began in the first quarter and accelerated in April has dramatically impacted our volumes,” CEO Stephen Squeri said in the earnings release.

American Express has set aside $2.6 billion in loss provisions to address missed payments and defaults, which increased 220% in the first quarter of 2020 when compared to the first quarter of 2019. The company said it will also extend the time merchants have to address payment disputes and will provide cardholders with short and long-term financial assistance.

Investors in the stock can expect further cost-cutting measures. "In light of the current environment, we are aggressively reducing costs across the enterprise, while at the same time selectively investing in initiatives that are key to our long-term growth strategy," Squeri said.

Following the release of earnings American Express stock was up around 2% premarket Friday.

How should you approach the stock going forward? TheStreet founder and ActionAlertsPLUS portfolio manager Jim Cramer gives his latest take on American Express in the video above. 

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