First American News LLC, Raleigh, NC: American Express Co. surged the most in more than a year after the card giant boosted forecasts for revenue and profit and said spending on its cards climbed to a record.
- ‘People are ready to get out and about again,’ CEO Squeri says
- Card giant sees revenue climbing as much as 20% this year
Revenue will climb as much as 20% this year while earnings could reach $9.25 to $9.65 a share, the company said in a statement Tuesday. AmEx has long said 2022 would be the year it reaches goals originally set two years ago, before the pandemic took hold. But the new targets far surpass even those goals, which predicted revenue growth in the range of 8% to 10% and per-share profit of $8.85 to $9.25.
Overall spending on AmEx’s network soared 29% to $368.1 billion in the final three months of last year, even as the highly contagious omicron variant disrupted holiday plans around the world and started a fresh round of lockdowns. The spending surge helped push revenue up 30% to $12.1 billion in the quarter, which was higher than analysts had predicted.
“People are ready to get out and about again,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Squeri said on a conference call with analysts. “We’ll see when omicron peaks and when we get the next variant, but I think society is learning how to deal with this.”