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Why American Express Is Focusing on These Two Segments

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Jul. 11 2017, Updated 4:47 p.m. ET

Global Merchant Services

American Express (AXP) will be reporting its 2Q17 earnings report July 19, 2017. Wall Street analysts are expecting to see EPS (earnings per share) of $1.43 for the quarter. Sequentially, this would be an increase of 6.72% and a decline of 32% on a YoY (year-over-year) basis.

The sequential increase is expected mainly due to Amex’s new merchants combining American Express Checkout with their digital checkout process. These new merchants include Delta Air Lines, Avis Car Rental, Budget Car Rental, Hulu, Neiman Marcus, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Staples and 1-800-FLOWERS.COM.

Amex’s Global Merchant Services segment is expected to benefit in 2Q17. The YoY decline of 32% in EPS reported in 2Q16 had been due to the discontinuance of its partnership with Costco Wholesale (COST).

Market analysts expect that American Express (AXP) will post EPS of $5.70 for fiscal 2017. Its consumer financial peers (XLF) are expected to post the following EPS:

  • Visa (V): $3.37
  • MasterCard (MA): $4.31
  • Discover Financial Services (DFS): $6.00
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Developments in global commercial payments

In May 2017, American Express (AXP) launched its Blue Business Plus Credit Card solely for small business owners and entrepreneurs. This card aims to help small business owners earn reward points, and cardholders will be charged a low APR (annual percentage rate) on purchases made.

The Blue Business Plus card also comes with no annual fee, and this should help boost the company’s revenues from its Global Commercial Services segment.

Correction: This article’s original description of Amex’s new merchants was incorrect. We have revised accordingly, and we regret this error.

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