American Express CEO Stephen Squeri dismissed concerns of an impending recession, stating that the credit card company has not yet seen a downturn in spending trends to suggest one such change.
This assessment comes after American Express announced its fourth-quarter results. Net sales for the company were $14.2 billion, falling marginally short of expectations of $14.21 billion in sales. AmEx shares rose 5% following the announcement.
Sales for the company’s U.S. consumer services and commercial segments proved strong, rising 23% and 15% respectively. With full-year sales growth of 15% to 17%, the company’s earnings are expected to be in the region of $11 to $11.40; thus exceeding analysts’ estimates of $10.52.
When questioned about the company’s sales for the fourth quarter, Squeri stated that a weakness in small business spending was detected, thereby leading to results narrowly missing estimates.
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan echoed Squeri’s assessment of the likelihood of an incoming recession, despite BoA remaining in the “mild” recession category. “They’re spending nicely. The money in their accounts continues to be solid,” Moynihan said of his company’s clients’ spending patterns.