American Express Fourth Quarter Earnings Release Coming This Week

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, January 19, 2012. American Express is a global payments, network, and travel company that offers credit card products and travel-related services to consumers and businesses on an international scale.

American Express Company Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 98 cents per share, a rise of 4.3% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 97 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has been unchanged at 98 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 18.5% versus last year to $4.04.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by 7 cents, coming in at net income of $1.03 a share versus the estimate of profit of 96 cents a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $7.92 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 8.2% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $30.06 billion for the year, a rise of 8.1% from last year’s revenue of $27.82 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 15 analysts rating it as a buy, one rating it as a sell and four rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 13% to $1.24 billion ($1.03 a share) from $1.09 billion (90 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 6.6% to $8.15 billion from $7.64 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 30.9% in the second quarter and 33% in the first quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS), Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), MasterCard Incorporated (NYSE:MA), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), SLM Corporation (NYSE:SLM), First Investors Financial Services Group (FIFS), and CompuCredit Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:CCRT).

Stock Price Performance: During October 18, 2011 to January 13, 2012, the stock price had risen $3.25 (7%) from $46.51 to $49.76. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between August 18, 2011 and August 31, 2011 when shares rose for 10-straight days, rising 12.3% (+$5.39) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 6, 2011 and May 13, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 1.4% (-71 cents) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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