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American Express Q4 net income up 11 percent

Staff writer |
American Express Company reported fourth quarter net income of $1.4 billion, up 11 percent from $1.3 billion a year ago. Diluted earnings per share rose 15 percent to $1.39, from $1.21 a year ago.

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Fourth quarter consolidated total revenues net of interest expense rose to $9.1 billion from $8.5 billion a year ago, up 7 percent (9 percent when adjusted for foreign currency translations). The revenue increase primarily reflected the previously reported gain of $719 million ($453 million after-tax) on the sale of the company's investment in Concur Technologies.

The increase also reflected a rise in Card Member spending and higher net interest income. Last year's fourth quarter included revenue from the company's business travel operations, which were deconsolidated as a result of the joint venture transaction that closed on June 30, 2014.

Consolidated provisions for losses totaled $582 million, up 22 percent from $479 million a year ago. The increase primarily reflected a build in reserves this quarter compared to a reserve release last year. Credit indicators continued to be at historically strong levels.

Consolidated expenses totaled $6.3 billion, up 3 percent (6 percent FX adjusted) from $6.1 billion a year ago.

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