American Express (NYSE:AXP) is due with its Q4 results in today's after hours, and analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report a profit of $0.98 per share on revenue of $7.92 billion.
AXP just favors widening between the sessions in its near-term performance following earnings evenings, adding to its evening trade in next-day action nine times and reversing between the sessions seven times in the data we've collected.
Longs will find in AXP a better track record of expanded upside post-earnings moves. Looking deeper into the performance data, AXP has seen an after-hours gain in five of the 16 quarters we've tracked, and in each instance, the stock has added to its gains in next-day action.
In the 10 quarters where the stock saw an earnings-driven after hours decline, it reversed direction in the following regular session in seven of those sessions.
- On Oct. 19, 2011, the stock eased 0.3% after a Q3 beat. Shares gained 0.1% during the next day's regular session.
- On July 20, 2011, AXP slipped 0.6% in night trading after topping Q2 estimates. It reversed direction the next day, ending the July 21 regular session up 0.9%.
- On April 20, 2011, the stock fell 2% in evening trading after an earnings beat. Shares recovered to edge up 0.2% the next day.
- On Jan. 24, 2011, the stock fell 1.3% in extended-hours trading after the company reported results largely in line with the Street view. Shares fell 2.1% the next day.
- On Oct. 21, 2010, AXP declined 1% in after-hours trading after topping Q3 expectations. The stock added to its downside the next day, closing the Oct. 22 regular session down 3%.
- On July 22, 2010, AXP slipped 0.9% in after-hours action after beating on earnings and meeting on revenue. The stock reversed direction the following day, closing the July 23 regular session up 3.7%.
- On April 22, 2010, the stock gained 1.4% in evening trading after the company reported a sharp rise in income compared to the year-ago quarter. Shares were up 2.7% the next day.
- On Jan. 21, 2010, AXP slipped 2% in evening trading despite beating Q4 estimates. The stock headed deeper south the following day, closing the Jan. 22 regular session down 8.4%.
- On Oct. 22, 2010, the stock fell 1.2%, reversing an initial firmer trade that followed an earnings beat. Shares tumbled a wider 5.1% the next day.
- On July 23, 2009, AXP declined 4.4% in after-hours trading after reporting a year-over-year decline in earnings and missing revenue expectations. The stock cut its downside in the July 24 regular session, ending up 0.2%.
- On April 23, 2009, AXP advanced 7.1% in evening trading after beating earnings expectations and meeting sales estimates. The stock soared the following day, closing the April 24 regular session up 20.6%.
- On Jan. 26, 2009, the stock rose 2.1% during extended-hours trading as the firm just missed with Q4 EPS. Shares jumped 9.7% the next day.
- On Oct. 20, 2008, AXP advanced 6.3% in after-hours trading after topping earnings expectations. It added to its upside in the Oct. 21 regular session, ending the day up 8.3%.
- On July 21, 2008, AXP tumbled 11% in night trading after missing earnings estimates. It cut its downside in the July 22 regular session, ending the day with a 7.1% decline.
- On April 24, 2008, AXP gained 3.8% in evening action after beating EPS estimates by three cents. The stock firmed even higher in the April 25 regular session, closing the day with a 5.7% advance.
- On Jan. 28, 2008, AXP shed 2.6% in evening trading after meeting earnings expectations. It recorded a sharp reversal in the Jan. 29 regular session, ending the day up 0.8%.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.