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American Express Co. (NYSE:AXP) is expected to report Q4 results Thursday after the market close with a conference call scheduled for 5 pm ET.

Guidance

Analysts are looking for EPS of 57c on revenue of $6.14B. The consensus range is 45c-72c for EPS and $5.93B-$6.34B for revenue, according to First Call. American Express reported on January 15 that its net write-off rate dropped to 7.4% in December from 8.1% in November, and 8.6% in October. The credit card network reported that 3.7% of its loans were 30 days or more past due in December, down from 3.9% in November, and 4.1% in October.

Analyst Views

A number of research firms have issued optimistic notes about American Express in recent days. In a note to investors on January 15, William Blair analyst David Long predicted that credit card net charge-offs had probably peaked. Long reacted to the company's December loan data by raising his Q4 EPS estimate to 53c from 51c. In addition, the analyst increased his 2010 EPS estimate for the credit card company to $2.48 from $2.37, while maintaining an Outperform rating on the stock. Meanwhile, a Piper Jaffray analyst called American Express a top pick, due to what the analyst sees as the stock's attractive valuation and its above-average credit trends. The firm raised its target on the stock to $56 from $49 and maintains an Overweight rating on the shares.

Source: Earnings Preview: American Express Co.