American Express sees hit to spending volumes from coronavirus
By Reuters Staff

FILE PHOTO: An American Express credit card is seen on a computer keyboard in this picture illustration taken September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Illustration
(Reuters) - American Express AXP.N said here on Tuesday spending volumes fell at the end of February and well into March as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on consumer spending, leading it to forecast low-single-digit percentage revenue growth for the first quarter.
The virus has upended the retail industry as shoppers stay home to avoid catching the highly contagious illness and stores remain shut.
Mastercard Inc MA.N, Visa Inc V.N and PayPal Holdings Inc PYPL.O have also warned of slowing revenue growth due to the outbreak.
American Express said it now expects revenue growth to be in the range of 2% to 4% on a constant currency basis and adjusted earnings per share in the range of $1.90 to $2.10, excluding reserve builds in the first quarter.
This compares to analysts’ average estimate of a $2.17 per share profit and revenue growth of about 8%, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
American Express said it was not able to forecast its future financial results beyond the first quarter at this time, citing ongoing uncertainty surrounding the duration, magnitude and geographic reach of the coronavirus pandemic.
Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty
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