American Express profits drop slightly but spending increases

American Express's first quarter profits were down roughly 6% compared to a year ago, but the company saw an increase of 30% in its namesake card purchases in the quarter, as its cardmembers returned their shopping, dining, and traveling habits.

American Express profits drop slightly but spending increases

New York-based AmEx posted a profit in the amount of $2.1 billion or $2.73 per share. This is down from $2.24 trillion or $2.74 per share a year ago. AmEx saw a boost in its results last year, when it released some reserves it had saved to help with potential losses during the pandemic.

For months, entertainment and travel companies have claimed that Americans are eager to return to travel after the coronavirus pandemic. American Express' results confirm this belief. The quarter saw cardmembers spend $350 billion, an increase of 30% over the previous year. Last quarter, the average AmEx card holder spent almost $6,000 on their accounts, an increase of 27% over a year ago.

AmEx reported that March spending on its cards reached an all-time high.

Steve Squeri, AmEx CEO, stated in a statement that "our strong first quarter results showed the continued business momentum achieved over the past several quarters despite an uncertain macro environment."

According to AmEx's data, travel spending is still lower than in 2019, but has mostly recovered since the pandemic. According to AmEx, T&E spending is expected to increase in the second half this year as more countries offer travel opportunities and people return to their pre-pandemic lifestyles.

AmEx also reiterated its full-year profit guidance and stated that it expects to report earnings between $9.25 & $9.65 per share in 2022.

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