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S&P Raises American Express Subsidiary Ratings

By Andrew R. Johnson Standard & Poor's raised its long-term issuer ratings for American Express Co.'s (AXP) core operating subsidiaries by one notch, citing the credit-card lender's strong performance during the credit crisis. American Express, the largest U.S. credit-card lender by spending, recovered from the financial crisis more quickly than its peers thanks in part to its focus on affluent borrowers. The company focuses on issuing credit and charge cards to borrowers with pristine credit, generating revenue largely from fees it charges merchants for accepting those cards and fees customers pay. S&P raised its ratings on American Express' operating subsidiaries to A- from BBB+ Wednesday. It also affirmed its A-2 short-term issuer ratings on the subsidiaries and its BBB+/A-2 issuer ratings on its non-operating holding company. "The company did not post any quarterly losses during the credit crisis and its recent earnings were strong," S&P credit analyst John Bartko said in a statement. S&P has the long-term ratings on "stable" outlook, reflecting the lender's "positive customer spending trends" and strong performance, though it takes into account the "fragile state of the U.S. economic recovery" and more regulatory pressure. While delinquency and net charge-off rates are near historic lows for many credit-card lenders, American Express has seen some of the lowest rates in the industry. The company faces headwinds this year as payments from Visa Inc. (V) and MasterCard Inc. (MA) from a past settlement have ended and delinquencies potentially edge up, putting more pressure on expense control. American Express' shares were down 2.5% at $53.98 in after-hours trading Wednesday after closing up 2.6%. Its shares are up more than 17% for the year. -Write to Andrew R. Johnson at andrew.r.johnson@dowjones.com

Stock News for American Express (AXP)
DateTimeHeadline
06/28/201611:38:47Annual Report of Employee Stock Plans (11-k)
06/27/201612:13:00American Express Plans Live Audio Webcasts of the Second Quarter...
06/27/201611:36:00MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Plunge For Second Day After Brexit...
06/27/201611:14:00American Express Plans Live Audio Webcasts of the Second Quarter...
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06/24/201612:51:00American Express Brings Flavor & Fusion to Houston’s George B...
06/23/201617:00:00American Express Exceeds Fed Minimum Capital Level Under Stress...
06/23/201612:41:00American Express Previews Amex bot for Facebook Messenger at...
06/23/201603:02:00Finance Watch -- WSJ
06/22/201610:50:00AmEx to Limit Merchant Costs During Chip-Card Shift
06/22/201610:41:00American Express Plans to Limit Merchant Costs During Chip-Card...
06/22/201609:00:00American Express To Update U.S. Fraud Policies To Limit EMV Chargebacks...
06/21/201611:07:00MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Pare Gains As Yellen Stresses Brexit...
06/21/201610:30:00American Express Launches National LGBTQ PRIDE Campaign to “Express L...
06/20/201608:02:03Current Report Filing (8-k)
06/15/201612:01:21Current Report Filing (8-k)
06/15/201609:55:00“Open House Weekend” Planned at National Parks Vying for $2...
06/15/201607:00:00American Express Launches Quick Chip Service to Provide A More...
06/10/201618:40:00Wal-Mart to Stop Accepting Visa Cards in Canadian Stores
06/06/201619:00:00Law Firm Cravath Raising Starting Salaries to $180,000

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