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Never leave home without AmEx stock

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The credit card giant reported quarterly profit of $ 2.3 billion, significantly beating Wall Street forecasts. Income for American Express (AXP) reached $ 10.2 billion, a 33% jump from Q2 2020 and also ahead of consensus estimates. The stock rose nearly 4% on the news on Friday.
The stock is up more than 45% this year, placing AmEx slightly ahead of Goldman Sachs. Like Goldman (SG) and other leading financial stocks, Amex has thrived in recent months as the economy has come back to life after the brief Covid recession last year and consumers have returned to spending.
AmEx also outperformed its credit card competitors MasterCard (MY) and other component of Dow Visa (V), which are up 7% and 12% respectively in 2021.

The company has had an impressive run since CEO Stephen Squeri took over from longtime AmEx chief Ken Chenault in 2018.

Squeri has boosted AmEx’s investment in technology and branched out into other areas like small business lending with the acquisition last year of fintech startup Kabbage, a small business technology company. AmEx launched a new Kabbage checking account for this market last month.

“Our good second quarter results show that the steps we have taken to run the business during the pandemic and our investment strategy to rebuild our growth momentum are paying off,” Squeri said in the earnings release. ‘company.

Squeri also said in a conference call with analysts on Friday morning that AmEx is holding up well despite increased competition from tech companies like Square (SQ) and owner of Venmo Pay Pal (PYPL) as well as traditional card issuers such as A capital letter (COF) and US Bancorp (Usb).

“There is a lot of competition. There is a lot of fintech. There are banks there,” Squeri said, noting that banks in particular are “aggressive”.

AmEx does a better job of reaching young clients

Executives noted that AmEx was also more successful in reaching younger consumers.

CFO Jeffrey Campbell said on the conference call that AmEx spent $ 1.3 billion on marketing expenses (including advertising) in the second quarter. The company plans to spend around $ 5 billion in total on marketing this year, Campbell said.

For example, a new AmEx ad this year shows a woman trying on jeans again after presumably wearing sweatpants while working from home for the past few months.

“We have seen cardholder spending accelerate from the previous quarter and surpass pre-pandemic levels in June, with most of that spending growth coming from millennial, millennial customers. Z and small businesses, ”Squeri said in the press release.

During the conference call, Squeri said younger consumers are going out more and starting to take vacations again, which also gives the business a boost.

AmEx has co-branded cards with Delta (DAL) and Hilton (HLT), and Squeri said the volume of spending for the two increased by double-digit percentages during the quarter.

“Travel and entertainment spending also picked up during the quarter, particularly in the United States, where a growing percentage of the population is now fully immunized,” he said.

AmEx also recently relaunched its famous Platinum Card, offering more travel and shopping benefits for average consumers. The company has increased the annual fee for this premium card.


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