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Kenneth I. Chenault

American Express' earnings fall, but still beat estimates

American Express's first-quarter profits declined 8 percent from a year earlier, as the company continues to spend heavily to retain customers being lured away by aggressive competitors.

However the company's results beat analysts' expectations and the company saw both more card spending and more account openings in the quarter, which helped push AmEx's shares higher in post-market trading.

The credit card company said Wednesday it earned a profit of $1.39 billion, or $1.45 a share, in the first quarter, after payments to preferred shareholders. That's down from $1.51 billion, or $1.49 per share, in the same period a year earlier. The results exceeded Wall Street...