American Express is a financial services company whose primary products are charge and credit cards. The company operates globally and has a number of strategic partnerships with third-party card issuers. In addition to payment cards, AMEX delivers an expanded list of services including merchant acquisition, fee services, travel-related services and more.
Fortune included American Express in its 20 Most Admired Companies list of 2017.American Express is the world’s biggest card issuer by purchase volume, and the 4thlargest card network based on number of cards in circulation – currently some 110 million.
Stephen J. Squeri, a veteran of American Express who joined the company in 1985, has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since February 2018. Among the other key figures at the company are: Douglas E. Buckminster (Group President, Global Consumer Services); Jeffrey C. Campbell (Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer); and Paul D. Fabara (President, Global Services Group).
Founded in 1850 as an express mail business, the firm soon branched out into money orders, and by 1903 it had assets of $28 million. Travellers’ cheques established American Express as a global business in the early decades of the 20thcentury, and in 1959 it started issuing embossed plastic cards – a first for the industry.
In the 1980s, American Express made a series of acquisitions as part of moves to establish an investment banking operation. But it decided to exit the business a decade later, spinning off its last investment banking interests as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. During the financial crisis in November 2008, American Express won Federal Reserve approval to convert to a bank holding company, making it eligible for help under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
In its full year 2017 financial results, American Express reported net income of $2.7 billion, down sharply from $5.4 billion the previous year. Diluted earnings per share were $2.97, compared with $5.65 for 2016. However, excluding the impacts of the Trump administration’s U.S. Tax Act, earnings per share were $5.87. This was in line with the guidance the company gave in October 2017.
The American Express share price has seen considerable movement in the first two decades of this century. From just over $25 in October 2001, the shares hit $65 in June 2007 before plunging to just above $10 in March 2009. But they made a strong recovery, reaching $95 in July 2014. Another sharp drop followed in early 2016, and then the shares powered up again, hitting an all-time high of $101 in February 2018.
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American Express is headquartered in New York City and has operations in more than 40 countries around the world. The company has offices right across North America and in Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. In Europe it is present in London and all over the continent, from Stockholm to Rome. American Express locations in the Asia-Pacific region include Hong Kong, Mumbai, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo.
American Express shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The company is a member of major market indices such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 100 and the S&P 500. Check out Capital.com for the latest AXP chart. We’ll keep you up to date and in the picture.
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