Jan. 14, 2014, 9:30 AM| Comment!
Dec. 24, 2013, 10:08 AM
- It's expected, reports the WSJ, American Express (AXP +0.3%) will pay a fine to regulators as well as refunds to customers over slyly charging for add-on products like identity theft protection.
- The CFPC, OCC, and FDIC are expected to join the settlement.
- Update at 10:22: The FDIC, joined by the CFPB and the OCC, announce a settlement with AMEX. It's looking like $7.2M in fines and no less than $40.9N in restitution to AMEC customers.
Dec. 19, 2013, 4:30 PM
- U.S. merchants had filed suits over American Express' (AXP) card acceptance agreements. The settlement, says AMEX, addresses certain merchant concerns, and assures AMEX members will be treated fairly at the point of sale. The suits date back nearly 10 years.
- AMEX will pay attorney fees up to a maximum of $75M, plus another $4M to go to the plaintiffs.
- Merchants agree not to surcharge AMEX customers any more than that charged for cards on competing networks.
- Press release
Dec. 17, 2013, 4:19 AM
- The Fed intends to use its own estimates about the effect of a recession on bank balance sheets in its stress tests. Previously, the Fed has relied on data from the firms themselves.
- The central bank could project that bank assets would grow during a slump, as has happened in the past three recessions, rather than fall, as the banks have predicted.
- With such a finding, the Fed could require banks to hold more loss-absorbing capital or limit shareholder payouts. (Fed letter)
- Tickers: GS, JPM, BAC, BK, AXP, COF, C, FITB, MS, PNC, RF, STT, STI, USB, WFC.
- ETFs of interest: KBE, KBWB, KRE, KCE, KBWC, XLF, IYF, PFI, VFH, RYF, RWW, FAS, UYG, FAZ, SKF, SEF, IAI, FXO, PSCF, KBWD, KBWB, IYG, FINU, FINZ.
Nov. 27, 2013, 1:42 PM
- American Express (AXP +0.4%), Discover (DFS +0.3%), U.S. Bancorp (USB +0.2%), and Wells Fargo (WFC -0.1%) are best positioned to be allowed large capital returns (about 70%) after the Fed's early 2014 stress tests, says Credit Suisse's Moshe Orenbuch, while Ciitgroup (C +0.2%) and PNC Financial (PNC +0.9%) are likely to show the biggest improvement from last year.
- Overall, his team expects large cap bank capital returns to be 65% next year vs. about 48% in 2013. The median dividend payout ratio is expected at 22%, level with this year.
- Orenbuch notes the CCAR will be tougher this time around - notably by assuming a global, not just domestic meltdown, and assuming a significant reversal in the property market - with commercial real estate exposure particularly harshly judged.
- Balanced against that and likely winning, however, are far stronger capital positions of the banks, says Orenbuch.
- Financial and banking ETFs: FAS, XLF, FAZ, UYG, KRE, KBE, VFH, IYF, IPF, SEF, IAI, IAT, IYG, FXO, PFI, IXG, KBWB, RKH, QABA, KCE, FINU, RWW, KRU, RYF, KBWR, AXFN, PSCF, KRS, FNCL, FINZ, KBWX, KBWC
Nov. 20, 2013, 10:04 AM| Comment!
Nov. 19, 2013, 12:31 PM
Nov. 5, 2013, 12:48 PM
- New CCAR guidelines are largely inline with last year, says the team at Credit Suisse, but some variables pose more onerous assumptions and could keep capital distributions more conservative than otherwise expected, though still improved from last year.
- The incorporation of a large counterparty default scenario is particularly of note for those banks with material trading and custodial operations. The bar for CCAR passage is thus raised for: BAC, BK, C, GS, JPM, MS, STT, and WFC.
- Additionally, the weakening of economic activity in the severely adverse scenario appears worse than last year. Also included is a reversal in the recent improvement in U.S. housing and the European economy.
- Those best-positioned for excess capital deployment: AXP, HBAN, KEY, NTRS, RF, and USB. Bank of New York, Goldman, State Street, and Wells Fargo all have the honor of ending up on both lists.
- ETFs: KBE, KBWB.
Oct. 17, 2013, 8:54 AM
- "There is just nothing in our data that would support any particular impact amongst our customer base in what they spend money on from the economic turmoil," said American Express (AXP) CFO Jeff Campbell, responding to an earnings call (transcript) question about the government shutdown.
- The upbeat tone of Campbell's remarks (not just in this question, but overall) contrasts with the "lackluster" macro picture described by eBay after its soft revenue and light guidance.
- AXP +0.2% premarket.
Oct. 16, 2013, 4:24 PM
- Total cardmember spending rose 7% Y/Y (9% after currency translations).
- U.S. Card Services net income of $782M up 12% Y/Y, with 8% increase in cardmember spending and a rise in interest income thanks to 4% growth in card loans. Provisions for lesses of $331M off 2%. Expenses of $2.7B up 4%, reflecting higher rewards and marketing costs.
- International Card Services net income of $142M is off 13% Y/Y, with revenues higher by 8% adjusted for currency translations. Drop in income comes from a 36% increase in loss provisions to $113M.
- Global Commercial Services net income of $261M up 43%, on 6% higher revenues.
- Global Network & Merchant Services net income of $391M up 9% on 7% higher revenues, adjusted for currency translations.
- AXP +0.3% AH.
- Conference call at 5 ET.
- Q3 results, press release.
Oct. 16, 2013, 4:02 PM
Oct. 16, 2013, 12:10 AM
Oct. 15, 2013, 5:35 PM
Oct. 15, 2013, 12:33 PM| Comment!
Oct. 4, 2013, 1:04 PM
- Despite expenses moving in the wrong direction and what he expects will be a declining trend in earnings, Capital One (COF +1.7%) is KBW's Sanjay Sakhrani top pick among the credit card lenders. Even with Q3 EPS expected at $1.78 vs. $2.01 a year ago, CapOne still trades at 10.1x 2014 consensus P/E - low for a stock with return on tangible common equity of nearly 18%, he says.
- The far-better performing (stock-price wise) Discover (DFS +0.3%) - trading at 10x 2014 earnings - is also rated a Buy as Sakhrani sees plenty of room for boosted buybacks. He predicts $350M of repurchases in Q3 vs. $340M in Q2, and a total of $1.3B for all of 2013.
- Though relatively pricey at 13.8x 2014 consensus P/E, American Express (AXP +0.1%) is also rated a Buy thanks to its long history of double-digit ROE (it was 23.6% in H1, down from 26.6% a year ago).
Sep. 25, 2013, 8:51 AM
- American Express' (AXP) corporate travel business gets a jolt with the announcement of a joint venture with an investor group led by Certares into which will be folded AMEX"s Global Business Travel Division.
- AMEX will own 50% of the JV, with the Centares Group investing $700M-$1B and owning the other half. The transaction is expected to close in 2014 Q2, and AMEX expects to recognize a gain at that time.
- "We anticipate that the expansion of our business travel offerings will not only help us grow GBT, but it would also provide additional value to our corporate payments customers ... We believe this structure will provide superior opportunities for delivering customer benefits, retaining world-class talent and achieving long-term success.”
- Press release.
AXP vs. ETF Alternatives
Other News & PR