New alliances prime Amex for growth

Article Excerpt

AMERICAN EXPRESS CO. $91 (New York symbol AXP, Conservative Growth Portfolio, Finance sector; Shares outstanding: 860.1 million; Market cap: $78.3 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 2.6; Dividend yield: 1.5%; TSINetwork Rating: Average; is one of the world’s largest issuers of payment cards. As of December 31, 2017, it had 112.8 million cards in use across 130 countries. That’s up 2.6% from a year earlier. The company issues both traditional credit cards, which let users carry a balance, and charge cards, which have no pre-set spending limit but must have their balances paid in full each month. The U.S. contributes about two-thirds of Amex’s revenue. Loss of Costco contract hurt revenue growth Overall revenue rose 4.0%, from $32.9 billion in 2013 to $34.2 billion in 2014. The company lost its exclusive deal with Costco to Visa, which is why its revenue declined to $32.8 billion in 2015, and again in 2016 to $32.2 billion. Revenue rebounded 4.2% to $33.5 billion in 2017. Earnings improved 9.8%, from $5.4 billion…

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