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American Express posts higher quarterly earnings

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American Express Co (AXP-N) said second quarter earnings rose, as customers spent more on their cards and the company's processing revenue rose.
    
Average spending on the company's cards rose 15 percent to $3,767 and the number of outstanding American Express cards rose 6 percent to 94 million.
    
American Express has been focusing its business on processing credit and debit card transactions, which is less risky than lending. The company said earlier this week it is working with merchants to offer coupons to customers via Facebook, which is designed to generate more sales volume on American Express cards.
    
In the years leading up to the credit crunch, American Express boosted profit by making more loans, only to be burned by customer defaults.
    
The New York-based company posted quarterly earnings for common shareholders of $1.32 billion, or $1.10 a share, compared with $1.00 billion, or 84 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.
    
Earnings per common share from continuing operations were $1.07, exceeding Wall Street analysts' average estimate of $0.99, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
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