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AmEx profits plunge as travel spending comes to a standstill

American Express’ fourth-quarter profits dropped by 39% as the pandemic’s deep impacts on travel, entertainment and dining dramatically impacted results of the credit card giant

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — American Express’ fourth-quarter profits dropped by 39%, the credit card giant said Friday, as the pandemic’s deep impacts on travel, entertainment and dining dramatically impacted the company’s results.

The New York-based company earned $1.07 billion, or $1.30 a share, down from $1.76 billion, or $2.08 per share, in the same period a year earlier. The results missed analysts’ forecasts, who were looking for AmEx to earn $1.39 a share, according to Zacks Investment Research.

“We recognize that the road ahead continues to be uncertain,” said AmEx CEO Stephen Squeri, in a prepared statement.

The company is also facing consumers and small businesses, hit hard by the pandemic or preparing for more tough times, cutting back spending and cutting up cards. The average spending on an AmEx card fell to $4,486 from $5,630 a year earlier. The average numbers of cards was 90.8 million in the quarter, down from 93 million a year earlier.

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