American Express Co. beat Wall Street estimates for first-quarter profit on Friday, driven by strong spending from its card holders globally as consumer appetite for travel and entertainment reached pre-pandemic levels.
U.S. consumer spending has been rising for months as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and Americans make up for lost time traveling, shopping and dining out, bankers and economists have said.
Travel and entertainment spending was up 121% on an adjusted basis compared with a year earlier and hit pre-pandemic levels globally for the first time in March, AmEx said.
The payments company expects the momentum to continue into the rest of 2022 and reaffirmed its forecast for annual net revenue growth between 18% and 20% and earnings per share of $9.25 to $9.65.
AmEx posted net income of $2.1 billion, or $2.73 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared with $2.2 billion, or $2.74 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $2.44 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
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