American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Oct 18, 2019 • 08:30 am ET


American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the American Express Q3 2019 Earnings Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, today's call is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to our host, Head of Investor Relations, Ms. Rosie Perez. Please go ahead.

Rosie C. Perez

Thank you, Alan and thank you, all for joining today's call. As a reminder, before we begin, today's discussion contains forward-looking statements about the company's future business and financial performance. These are based on management's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these statements are included in today's slides and on our reports on file with the SEC.

The discussion today also contains non-GAAP financial measures. The comparable GAAP financial measures are included in this quarter's earnings materials, as well as the earnings materials for the prior periods we discussed. All of these are posted on our website at

We'll begin today with Steve Squeri, Chairman and CEO, who will start with some remarks about the company's progress and results. And then Jeff Campbell, CFO, will provide a more detailed review of our financial performance. After that, we'll move to a Q&A session on the results with both Steve and Jeff.

With that, let me turn it over to Steve.

Stephen J. Squeri

Thanks, Rosie. Good morning, everyone and thanks for joining us. As you saw in our release earlier today, our third quarter results are a continuation of the consistent steady performance we've been delivering over the last few years. We had strong FX-adjusted revenue growth of 9% in the quarter and our EPS of $2.08 was 11% higher than last year.

Consistently high levels of revenue growth we are delivering is the result of the focused approach we've taken in executing our strategy and the strength of our differentiated business model. This was the ninth straight quarter where FX-adjusted revenue growth was 8% or higher. I'm especially pleased that our revenue growth continues to be driven by a well-balanced mix of spend, loans and fees.

Card fee revenues were particularly strong, growing 19% and exceeding $1 billion this quarter for the first time. Nearly 70% of the cards we've acquired this year are fee-based products, providing us recurring subscription-like revenues. The trends we saw in the business remain consistent with an economy that continues to expand, albeit at a more modest pace than last year.

Our FX-adjusted proprietary billings grew 7%, led by strong growth in our US and international consumer businesses. We continue to deliver healthy loan growth and our credit performance remained at industry-leading levels. In fact, better than the expectations we had at the beginning of the year. So, as you can see, even with some uncertainty in the global economic and political environment, our strategy of investing in share, scale and relevance is enabling us to deliver steady solid