XNYS:AXP American Express Co Quarterly Report 10-Q Filing - 3/31/2012

Effective Date 3/31/2012

XNYS:AXP (American Express Co): Fair Value Estimate
Premium
XNYS:AXP (American Express Co): Consider Buying
Premium
XNYS:AXP (American Express Co): Consider Selling
Premium
XNYS:AXP (American Express Co): Fair Value Uncertainty
Premium
XNYS:AXP (American Express Co): Economic Moat
Premium
XNYS:AXP (American Express Co): Stewardship
Premium
 
Table of Contents

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-Q

[X]        QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the Quarterly Period Ended March 31, 2012

or

  [  ]        TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the Transition Period from              to             

Commission file number 1-7657

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

New York

   

13-4922250

 

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

    (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)  

World Financial Center, 200 Vesey Street, New York, NY

   

10285

 
(Address of principal executive offices)     (Zip Code)  

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code                                  (212) 640-2000        

 
            None  

Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Yes   X             No             

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).

Yes   X             No             

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer  x

 

  

Accelerated filer  ¨

 

Non-accelerated filer  ¨    (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

  

Smaller reporting company  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

Yes                 No   X        

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuer’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.

 

Class

     

Outstanding at April 30, 2012

 
Common Shares (par value $.20 per share)       1,150,913,094 shares  


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

FORM 10-Q

INDEX

 

Part I.   Financial Information  

Page No.

  

 

Item 1.

 

Financial Statements

   
   

Consolidated Statements of Income – Three Months Ended March 31, 2012 and 2011

      1   
   

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income – Three Months Ended March 31, 2012 and 2011

    2   
   

Consolidated Balance Sheets – March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011

    3   
   

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows – Three Months Ended March 31, 2012 and 2011

    4   
   

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

      5   
 

Item 2.

 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

      32   
 

Item 3.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

      66   
 

Item 4.

 

Controls and Procedures

      66   
Part II.   Other Information    
 

Item 1.

 

Legal Proceedings

      70   
 

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

      72   
 

Item 2.

 

Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds

      73   
 

Item 6.

 

Exhibits

      74   
 

Signatures

      75   
 

Exhibit Index

      E-1   


Table of Contents

PART I. FINANCIAL INFORMATION

ITEM 1. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

(Unaudited)

 

                    

Three Months Ended March 31 (Millions, except per share amounts)

       2012       2011  

Revenues

      

Non-interest revenues

      

Discount revenue

     $           4,257     $           3,902  

Net card fees

       610       601  

Travel commissions and fees

       451       454  

Other commissions and fees

       583       529  

Other

       580       475  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total non-interest revenues

       6,481       5,961  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Interest income

      

Interest and fees on loans

       1,611       1,555  

Interest and dividends on investment securities

       66       88  

Deposits with banks and other

       30       20  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total interest income

       1,707       1,663  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Interest expense

      

Deposits

       129       137  

Short-term borrowings

       5         

Long-term debt and other

       440       456  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total interest expense

       574       593  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net interest income

       1,133       1,070  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total revenues net of interest expense

       7,614       7,031  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Provisions for losses

      

Charge card

       178       198  

Cardmember loans

       212        (120

Other

       22       19  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total provisions for losses

       412       97  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total revenues net of interest expense after provisions for losses

       7,202       6,934  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Expenses

      

Marketing, promotion, rewards and cardmember services

       2,319       2,450  

Salaries and employee benefits

       1,635       1,522  

Professional services

       691       663  

Other, net

       784       567  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

       5,429       5,202  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Pretax income

       1,773       1,732  

Income tax provision

       517       555  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income

     $ 1,256     $ 1,177  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Earnings per Common Share (Note 12):(a)

      

Basic

     $ 1.07     $ 0.98  

Diluted

     $ 1.07     $ 0.97  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Average common shares outstanding for earnings per common share:

      

Basic

       1,160       1,192  

Diluted

       1,166       1,198  

Cash dividends declared per common share

     $ 0.20     $ 0.18  
                    

 

  (a)

Represents net income less earnings allocated to participating share awards of $14 million for each of the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011.

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

1


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

(Unaudited)

 

                    

Three Months Ended March 31 (Millions)

       2012       2011  

Net income

     $         1,256     $          1,177  

Other comprehensive income (loss):

      

Net unrealized securities gains, net of tax of: 2012, $13; 2011, $(3)

       20       1  

Net unrealized derivatives gains, net of tax of: 2012, $—; 2011, $1

       1       4  

Foreign currency translation adjustments, net of tax of: 2012, $(122); 2011, $(120)

       72        66  

Net unrealized pension and other postretirement benefit gains (losses), net of tax of: 2012, $2; 2011, $(6)

       6       (3
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Other comprehensive income

       99       68  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Comprehensive income

     $ 1,355     $ 1,245  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 
                    

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

2


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(Unaudited)

 

                    

  (Millions, except per share data)

      

 

March 31,

2012

  

 

   
 
December 31,
2011
  
 

Assets

      

Cash and cash equivalents

      

Cash and due from banks

     $ 3,063     $ 3,514  

Interest-bearing deposits in other banks (includes securities purchased under resale agreements: 2012, $556; 2011, $470)

       23,804       20,572  

Short-term investment securities

       215       807  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

       27,082       24,893  

Accounts receivable

      

Cardmember receivables (includes gross receivables available to settle obligations of a consolidated variable interest entity: 2012, $7,131; 2011, $8,027), less reserves: 2012, $424; 2011, $438

       41,083       40,452  

Other receivables, less reserves: 2012, $88; 2011, $102

       2,827       3,657  

Loans

      

Cardmember loans (includes gross loans available to settle obligations of a consolidated variable interest entity: 2012, $31,389; 2011, $33,834), less reserves: 2012, $1,680; 2011, $1,874

       58,417       60,747  

Other loans, less reserves: 2012, $18; 2011, $18

       465       419  

Investment securities

       6,679       7,147  

Premises and equipment — at cost, less accumulated depreciation: 2012, $4,956; 2011, $4,747

       3,451       3,367  

Other assets (includes restricted cash of consolidated variable interest entities: 2012, $270; 2011, $207)

       11,780       12,655  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total assets

     $ 151,784     $ 153,337  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity

      

Liabilities

      

Customer deposits

     $ 38,219     $ 37,898  

Travelers Cheques outstanding

       4,728       5,123  

Accounts payable

       11,377       10,458  

Short-term borrowings

       3,758       4,337  

Long-term debt (includes debt issued by consolidated variable interest entities: 2012, $17,477; 2011, $20,856)

       56,844       59,570  

Other liabilities

       16,951       17,157  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total liabilities

       131,877       134,543  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Contingencies (Note 14)

      

Shareholders’ Equity

      

Common shares, $0.20 par value, authorized 3.6 billion shares; issued and outstanding 1,166 million shares as of March 31, 2012 and 1,164 million shares as of December 31, 2011

       233       232  

Additional paid-in capital

       12,436       12,217  

Retained earnings

       8,015       7,221  

Accumulated other comprehensive (loss) income

      

Net unrealized securities gains, net of tax of: 2012, $181; 2011, $168

       308       288  

Net unrealized derivatives losses, net of tax of: 2012, $(1); 2011, $(1)

       -        (1

Foreign currency translation adjustments, net of tax of: 2012, $(581); 2011, $(459)

       (610     (682

Net unrealized pension and other postretirement benefit losses, net of tax of: 2012, $(231); 2011, $(233)

       (475     (481
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total accumulated other comprehensive loss

       (777     (876
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total shareholders’ equity

       19,907       18,794  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity

     $                 151,784     $                 153,337  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 
                    

 

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

3


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(Unaudited)

 

                    

Three Months Ended March 31 (Millions)

       2012       2011  

Cash Flows from Operating Activities

      

Net income

     $ 1,256     $ 1,177  

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:

      

Provisions for losses

       412       97  

Depreciation and amortization

       254       227  

Deferred taxes and other

       48       (129

Stock-based compensation

       92       76  

Changes in operating assets and liabilities, net of effects of acquisitions and dispositions:

      

Other receivables

       807       29  

Other assets

       473       (171

Accounts payable and other liabilities

       502       (371

Travelers Cheques outstanding

       (412     (398
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net cash provided by operating activities

       3,432       537  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Cash Flows from Investing Activities

      

Sale of investments

       177       589  

Maturity and redemption of investments

       449       3,204  

Purchase of investments

       (58     (272

Net decrease in cardmember loans/receivables

       1,724       2,522  

Purchase of premises and equipment, net of sales: 2012, $1; 2011, $2

       (266     (255

Acquisitions/dispositions, net of cash acquired

       (2     (577

Net (increase) decrease in restricted cash

       (76     3,452  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net cash provided by investing activities

       1,948       8,663  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Cash Flows from Financing Activities

      

Net increase in customer deposits

       267       2,011  

Net (decrease) increase in short-term borrowings

       (540     92  

Issuance of long-term debt

       1,609         

Principal payments on long-term debt

       (4,501     (5,731

Issuance of American Express common shares

       231       229  

Repurchase of American Express common shares

       (171       

Dividends paid

       (211     (217
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net cash used in financing activities

       (3,316     (3,616
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Effect of exchange rate changes on cash

       125       87  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net increase in cash and cash equivalents

       2,189       5,671  

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

       24,893       16,356  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

     $         27,082     $          22,027  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 
                    

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

4


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

1.

Basis of Presentation

The Company

American Express Company (the Company) is a global services company that provides customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. The Company’s principal products and services are charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services offered to consumers and businesses around the world. The Company has also focused on generating alternative sources of revenue on a global basis in areas such as online and mobile payments and fee-based services. The Company’s various products and services are sold globally to diverse customer groups, including consumers, small businesses, mid-sized companies and large corporations. These products and services are sold through various channels, including direct mail, online applications, targeted direct and third-party sales forces and direct response advertising.

The accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements should be read in conjunction with the financial statements incorporated by reference in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of American Express Company for the year ended December 31, 2011.

The interim consolidated financial information in this report has not been audited. In the opinion of management, all adjustments, which consist of normal recurring adjustments necessary for a fair statement of the interim period consolidated financial information, have been made. Results of operations reported for interim periods are not necessarily indicative of results for the entire year.

The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue and expense, and the disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities. Actual results could be different from these estimates and assumptions.

In the first quarter of 2012, the Company revised the income statement reporting of annual membership card fees on lending products, increasing net card fees and reducing interest and fees on loans. Corresponding amounts in prior periods have been reclassified to conform to the current period presentation.

Certain other reclassifications of prior period amounts have been made to conform to the current presentation. The card fees revision discussed above and these other reclassifications did not have a material impact on the Company’s financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

 

2.

Acquisitions

On March 1, 2011, the Company completed the acquisition of a controlling interest in Loyalty Partner, a leading marketing services company that operates loyalty programs in Germany, Poland and India. Loyalty Partner also provides market analysis, operating platforms and consulting services that help merchants grow their businesses. Total consideration was $616 million. The Company has an option to acquire the remaining noncontrolling equity interest (NCI) over a three-year period beginning at the end of 2013 at a price based on business performance, which had an estimated fair value of $150 million at the acquisition date.

This acquisition did not have a significant impact for the three months ended March 31, 2012 or 2011 on either the Company’s consolidated results of operations or the International Card Services (ICS) reportable segment in which it is included.

 

5


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

The following table summarizes the final purchase price allocation for Loyalty Partner assets acquired and liabilities assumed:

 

     

(Millions)

 

Amount

Goodwill

  $                    541

Definite-lived intangible assets

  295

All other assets

  208
 

 

Total assets

  1,044

Total liabilities (including NCI)

  428
 

 

Net assets acquired

  $                    616
 

 

     

 

3.

Fair Values

Fair value is defined as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date, based on the Company’s principal or, in the absence of a principal, most advantageous market for the specific asset or liability.

GAAP provides for a three-level hierarchy of inputs to valuation techniques used to measure fair value, defined as follows:

Level 1 — Inputs that are quoted prices (unadjusted) for identical assets or liabilities in active markets.

Level 2 — Inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1 that are observable for the asset or liability, either directly or indirectly, for substantially the full term of the asset or liability, including:

 

  -

Quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities in active markets

 

  -

Quoted prices for identical or similar assets or liabilities in markets that are not active

 

  -

Inputs other than quoted prices that are observable for the asset or liability

 

  -

Inputs that are derived principally from or corroborated by observable market data by correlation or other means

Level 3 — Inputs that are unobservable and reflect the Company’s own assumptions about the assumptions market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability based on the best information available in the circumstances (e.g., internally derived assumptions surrounding the timing and amount of expected cash flows). The Company did not measure any financial instruments presented on the Consolidated Balance Sheets at fair value on a recurring basis using significantly unobservable inputs (Level 3) during the three months ended March 31, 2012 or during the year ended December 31, 2011, although the disclosed fair value of certain assets that are not carried at fair value, as presented later in this Note, are classified within Level 3.

The Company monitors the market conditions and evaluates the fair value hierarchy levels at least quarterly. For any transfers in and out of the levels of the fair value hierarchy, the Company elects to disclose the fair value measurement at the beginning of the reporting period during which the transfer occurred.

 

6


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities Carried at Fair Value

The following table summarizes the Company’s financial assets and financial liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis, categorized by GAAP’s valuation hierarchy (as described in the preceding paragraphs), as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:

 

0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
                                                     
       2012         2011

(Millions)

                Total               Level 1               Level 2                   Total               Level 1      

      Level 2

Assets:

                   

Investment securities:(a)

                   

Equity securities

     $ 371       $ 371       $       $ 360       $ 360       $           —

Debt securities and other(b)

       6,308         338         5,970         6,787         340       6,447

Derivatives(a)

       1,070                 1,070         1,516               1,516
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

Total assets

     $ 7,749       $ 709       $ 7,040       $ 8,663       $ 700       $      7,963
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

Liabilities:

                   

Derivatives(a)

     $ 290       $       $ 290       $ 108       $       $         108
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

Total liabilities

     $ 290       $       $ 290       $ 108       $       $         108
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

                                                     

 

  (a)

Refer to Note 6 for the fair values of investment securities and to Note 9 for the fair values of derivative assets and liabilities, both on a further disaggregated basis.

 

  (b)

The Level 1 amounts represent the Company’s holdings of U.S. Government treasury obligations at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively.

Valuation Techniques Used in the Fair Value Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities Carried at Fair Value

For the financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis (categorized in the valuation hierarchy table above) the Company applies the following valuation techniques:

Investment Securities

 

   

When available, quoted prices of identical investment securities in active markets are used to determine fair value. Such investment securities are classified within Level 1 of the fair value hierarchy.

 

   

When quoted prices of identical investment securities in active markets are not available, the fair values for the Company’s investment securities are obtained primarily from pricing services engaged by the Company, and the Company receives one price for each security. The fair values provided by the pricing services are estimated using pricing models, where the inputs to those models are based on observable market inputs or recent trades of similar securities. Such investment securities are classified within Level 2 of the fair value hierarchy. The inputs to the valuation techniques applied by the pricing services vary depending on the type of security being priced but are typically benchmark yields, benchmark security prices, credit spreads, prepayment speeds, reported trades and broker-dealer quotes, all with reasonable levels of transparency. The pricing services did not apply any adjustments to the pricing models used. In addition, the Company did not apply any adjustments to prices received from the pricing services.

The Company reaffirms its understanding of the valuation techniques used by its pricing services at least annually. In addition, the Company corroborates the prices provided by its pricing services for reasonableness by comparing the prices from the respective pricing services to valuations obtained from different pricing sources as well as comparing prices to the sale prices received from sold securities at least quarterly. In instances where price discrepancies are identified between different pricing sources, the Company evaluates such discrepancies to ensure that the prices used for its valuation represent the fair value of the underlying investment securities. Refer to Note 6 for additional fair value information.

 

7


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

Derivative Financial Instruments

The fair value of the Company’s derivative financial instruments is estimated by a third-party valuation service that uses proprietary pricing models or by internal pricing models, where the inputs to those models are readily observable from actively quoted markets. The pricing models used are consistently applied and reflect the contractual terms of the derivatives as described below. The Company reaffirms its understanding of the valuation techniques used by the third-party valuation service at least annually. The Company’s derivative instruments are classified within Level 2 of the fair value hierarchy.

The fair value of the Company’s interest rate swaps is determined based on a discounted cash flow method using the following significant inputs: the contractual terms of the swap such as the notional amount, fixed coupon rate, floating coupon rate (based on interbank rates consistent with the frequency and currency of the interest cash flows) and tenor, as well as discount rates consistent with the underlying economic factors of the currency in which the cash flows are denominated.

The fair value of the Company’s total return contract, which serves as a hedge against the Hong Kong dollar (HKD) change in fair value associated with the Company’s investment in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), is determined based on a discounted cash flow method using the following significant inputs as of the valuation date: number of shares of the Company’s underlying ICBC investment, the quoted market price of the shares in HKD and the monthly settlement terms of the contract inclusive of price and tenor.

The fair value of foreign exchange forward contracts is determined based on a discounted cash flow method using the following significant inputs: the contractual terms of the forward contracts such as the notional amount, maturity dates and contract rate, as well as relevant foreign currency forward curves, and discount rates consistent with the underlying economic factors of the currency in which the cash flows are denominated.

Credit valuation adjustments are necessary when the market parameters, such as a benchmark curve, used to value derivatives are not indicative of the credit quality of the Company or its counterparties. The Company considers the counterparty credit risk by applying an observable forecasted default rate to the current exposure. Refer to Note 9 for additional fair value information.

 

8


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities Carried at Other Than Fair Value

The following table discloses the estimated fair value for the Company’s financial assets and financial liabilities that are not required to be carried at fair value on a recurring basis, as of March 31, 2012:

 

                                           
      

 

  Carrying 

Value

  

  

       Corresponding Fair Value Amount

(Billions)

                  Total            Level 1            Level 2     

    Level 3

Financial Assets:

               

Financial assets for which carrying values equal or approximate fair value

               

Cash and cash equivalents

     $ 27         $ 27      $ 23      $ 4 (a)    $            —

Other financial assets(b)

     $ 45         $ 45      $      $ 45      $            —

Financial assets carried at other than fair value

               

Loans, net

     $ 59         $ 59 (c)    $      $      $            59

Financial Liabilities:

               

Financial liabilities for which carrying values equal or approximate fair value

     $ 54         $ 54      $      $ 54      $            —

Financial liabilities carried at other than fair value

               

Certificates of deposit(d)

     $ 11         $ 11      $      $ 11      $            —

Long-term debt

     $ 57         $ 60 (c)    $      $ 60      $            —
                                           

 

  (a)

Reflects time deposits.

 

  (b)

Includes accounts receivables (including fair values of cardmember receivables of $7.1 billion held by consolidated variable interest entities (VIEs) as of March 31, 2012), restricted cash and other miscellaneous assets.

 

  (c)

Includes fair values of loans and long-term debt of $30.9 billion and $17.7 billion, respectively, held by consolidated VIEs as of March 31, 2012.

 

  (d)

Presented as a component of customer deposits on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

The fair values of these financial instruments are estimates based upon the market conditions and perceived risks as of March 31, 2012, and require management judgment. These figures may not be indicative of their future fair values. The fair value of the Company cannot be reliably estimated by aggregating the amounts presented.

Valuation Techniques Used in the Fair Value Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities Carried at Other Than Fair Value

For the financial assets and liabilities that are not required to be measured at fair value on a recurring basis (categorized in the valuation hierarchy table above) the Company applies the following valuation techniques to measure fair value:

Financial Assets for Which Carrying Values Equal or Approximate Fair Value

Financial assets for which carrying values equal or approximate fair value include cash and cash equivalents, cardmember receivables, accrued interest and certain other assets. For these assets, the carrying values approximate fair value because they are short term in duration, have no defined maturity or have a market-based interest rate.

 

9


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

Financial Assets Carried at Other Than Fair Value

Loans

Loans are recorded at historical cost, less reserves, on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. In estimating the fair value for the Company’s loans the Company uses a discounted cash flow model. Due to the lack of a comparable whole loan sales market for similar credit card receivables and a lack of observable pricing inputs thereof, the Company uses various inputs derived from an equivalent securitization market to estimate fair value. Such inputs include projected income (inclusive of future interest payments and late fee revenue), estimated pay-down rates, discount rates and relevant credit costs.

Financial Liabilities for Which Carrying Values Equal or Approximate Fair Value

Financial liabilities for which carrying values equal or approximate fair value include accrued interest, customer deposits (excluding certificates of deposit, which are described further below), Travelers Cheques outstanding, accounts payable, short-term borrowings and certain other liabilities for which the carrying values approximate fair value because they are short term in duration, have no defined maturity or have a market-based interest rate.

Financial Liabilities Carried at Other Than Fair Value

Certificates of Deposit

Certificates of deposit (CDs) are recorded at their historical issuance cost on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. Fair value is estimated using a discounted cash flow methodology based on the future cash flows and the discount rate that reflects the Company’s current rates for similar types of CDs within similar markets.

Long-term Debt

Long-term debt is recorded at historical issuance cost on the Consolidated Balance Sheets adjusted for the impact of fair value hedge accounting on certain fixed-rate notes. The fair value of the Company’s long-term debt is measured using quoted offer prices when quoted market prices are available. If quoted market prices are not available, the fair value is determined by discounting the future cash flows of each instrument at rates currently observed in publicly traded debt markets for debt of similar terms and credit risk. For long-term debt, where there are no rates currently observable in publicly traded debt markets of similar terms and comparable credit risk, the Company uses market interest rates and adjusts that rate for necessary risks, including its own credit risk. In determining an appropriate spread to reflect its credit standing, the Company considers credit default swap spreads, bond yields of other long-term debt offered by the Company, and interest rates currently offered to the Company for similar debt instruments of comparable maturities.

Nonrecurring Fair Value Measurements

The Company did not have any material assets that were measured at fair value for impairment on a nonrecurring basis during the three months ended March 31, 2012 or during the year ended December 31, 2011.

 

10


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

4.

Accounts Receivable and Loans

The Company’s charge and lending payment card products result in the generation of cardmember receivables (from charge payment products) and cardmember loans (from lending payment products) described below.

Cardmember and Other Receivables

Cardmember receivables, representing amounts due from charge payment product customers, are recorded at the time a cardmember enters into a point-of-sale transaction with a merchant. Each charge card transaction is authorized based on its likely economics reflecting a cardmember’s most recent credit information and spend patterns. Additionally, global spend limits are established to limit the maximum exposure for the Company.

Charge card customers generally must pay the full amount billed each month. Cardmember receivable balances are presented on the Consolidated Balance Sheets net of reserves for losses (refer to Note 5), and include principal and any related accrued fees.

Accounts receivable as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 were as follows:

 

          

(Millions)

 

2012

  

2011

U.S. Card Services(a)

  $        19,319    $          20,645

International Card Services

  6,736    7,222

Global Commercial Services(b)

  15,298    12,829

Global Network & Merchant Services(c)

  154    194
 

 

  

 

Cardmember receivables(d)

  41,507    40,890

Less: Reserve for losses

  424    438
 

 

  

 

Cardmember receivables, net

  $        41,083    $          40,452
 

 

  

 

Other receivables, net(e)

  $          2,827    $            3,657
 

 

  

 

          

 

  (a)

Includes $6.6 billion and $7.5 billion of gross cardmember receivables available to settle obligations of a consolidated VIE as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively.

 

  (b)

Includes $0.5 billion of gross cardmember receivables available to settle obligations of a consolidated VIE as of both March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011. Also includes $757 million and $563 million due from airlines, of which Delta Air Lines (Delta) comprises $535 million and $340 million as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively.

 

  (c)

Includes receivables primarily related to the Company’s International Currency Card portfolios.

 

  (d)

Includes approximately $13.1 billion and $12.8 billion of cardmember receivables outside the United States as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively.

 

  (e)

Other receivables primarily represent amounts related to (i) purchased joint venture receivables, (ii) the Company’s travel customers and suppliers, (iii) certain merchants for billed discount revenue and (iv) other receivables due to the Company in the ordinary course of business. As of December 31, 2011, other receivables also included investments that matured on December 31, 2011, but which did not settle until January 3, 2012. Other receivables are presented net of reserves for losses of $88 million and $102 million as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively.

Cardmember and Other Loans

Cardmember loans, representing amounts due from lending payment product customers, are recorded at the time a cardmember enters into a point-of-sale transaction with a merchant or when a charge card customer enters into an extended payment arrangement with the Company. The Company’s lending portfolios primarily include revolving loans to cardmembers obtained through either their credit card accounts or the lending on charge feature of their charge card accounts. These loans have a range of terms such as credit limits, interest rates, fees and payment structures, which can be revised over time based on new information about cardmembers and in accordance with applicable regulations and the respective product’s terms and conditions. Cardmembers holding revolving loans are typically required to make monthly payments based on pre-established amounts. The amounts that cardmembers choose to revolve are subject to finance charges.

 

11


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

Cardmember loans are presented on the Consolidated Balance Sheets net of reserves for losses (refer to Note 5), and include principal, accrued interest and fees receivable. The Company’s policy generally is to cease accruing interest on a cardmember loan at the time the account is written off. The Company establishes reserves for interest that the Company believes will not be collected.

Loans as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 consisted of:

 

                 

(Millions)

       2012     

2011

U.S. Card Services(a)

     $     51,423      $    53,686

International Card Services

       8,632      8,901

Global Commercial Services

       42      34
    

 

 

    

 

Cardmember loans

       60,097      62,621

Less: Reserve for losses

       1,680      1,874
    

 

 

    

 

Cardmember loans, net

     $ 58,417      $    60,747
    

 

 

    

 

Other loans, net(b)

     $ 465      $         419
    

 

 

    

 

                 

 

  (a)

Includes approximately $31.4 billion and $33.8 billion of gross cardmember loans available to settle obligations of a consolidated VIE as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively.

 

  (b)

Other loans primarily represent a store card loan portfolio whose billed business is not processed on the Company’s network, loans to merchants and small business installment loans. Other loans are presented net of reserves for losses of $18 million as of both March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011.

Cardmember Loans and Cardmember Receivables Aging

Generally, a cardmember account is considered past due if payment is not received within 30 days after the billing statement date. The following table represents the aging of cardmember loans and receivables as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:

 

00000 00000 00000 00000 00000
                                         

2012 (Millions)

       Current       
 

 
 

30-59
Days

Past
        Due

  
  

  
  

   
 

 
 

60-89
Days

Past
        Due

  
  

  
  

   

 

 

 

90+

Days

Past

        Due

  

  

  

  

  

Total

Cardmember Loans:

             

U.S. Card Services

     $     50,739     $ 192     $ 150     $ 342      $    51,423

International Card Services

       8,480       53       32       67      8,632

Cardmember Receivables:

             

U.S. Card Services

     $ 18,946     $ 108     $ 82     $ 183      $    19,319

International Card Services(a)

       (b     (b     (b     70      6,736

Global Commercial Services(a)

       (b     (b     (b     95      15,298

2011 (Millions)

             

Cardmember Loans:

             

U.S. Card Services

     $ 52,930     $ 218     $ 165     $ 373      $    53,686

International Card Services

       8,748       52       32       69      8,901

Cardmember Receivables:

             

U.S. Card Services

     $ 20,246     $ 122     $ 81     $ 196      $    20,645

International Card Services(a)

       (b     (b     (b     63      7,222

Global Commercial Services(a)

       (b     (b     (b     109      12,829
                                         

 

  (a)

For cardmember receivables in ICS and Global Commercial Services (GCS), delinquency data is tracked based on days past billing status rather than days past due. A cardmember account is considered 90 days past billing if payment has not been received within 90 days of the cardmember’s billing statement date. In addition, if the Company initiates collection procedures on an account prior to the account becoming 90 days past billing the associated cardmember receivable balance is considered as 90 days past billing. These amounts are shown above as 90+ Days Past Due for presentation purposes.

 

  (b)

Historically, data for periods prior to 90 days past billing are not available due to system constraints. Therefore, it has not been utilized for risk management purposes. The balances that are current to 89 days past due can be derived as the difference between the Total and the 90+ Days Past Due balances.

 

12


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

Credit Quality Indicators for Loans and Receivables

The following tables present the key credit quality indicators as of or for the three months ended March 31:

 

                                                     
        2012     2011  
        Net Write-Off Rate     30 Days
Past Due
as a % of
Total
    Net Write-Off Rate     30 Days
Past Due
as a % of
Total
 

 

      Principal
Only
(a)
    Principal,
Interest, &
Fees
(a)
      Principal
Only
(a)
    Principal,
Interest, &
Fees
(a)
   

Cardmember Loans:

             

U.S. Card Services

      2.3     2.6     1.3     3.7     4.1     1.8

International Card Services

      2.1     2.7     1.8     3.2     3.9     2.4

Cardmember Receivables:

             

U.S. Card Services

      2.3     2.5     1.9     1.7     1.8     1.8
                                                     
                                                     
                    2012      2011  

 

    Net Loss
Ratio as

a % of
Charge
Volume
    90 Days
Past Billing
as a % of
Receivables
    Net Loss
Ratio as

a % of
Charge
Volume
    90 Days
Past Billing
as a % of
Receivables
 

Cardmember Receivables:

  

       

International Card Services

  

    0.15     1.0     0.15     1.0

Global Commercial Services

  

    0.08     0.6     0.06     0.7
                                                     

 

  (a)

The Company presents a net write-off rate based on principal losses only (i.e., excluding interest and/or fees) to be consistent with industry convention. Because the Company’s practice is to include uncollectible interest and/or fees as part of its total provision for losses, a net write-off rate including principal, interest and/or fees is also presented.

Refer to Note 5 for additional indicators, including external environmental factors, that management considers in its monthly evaluation process for reserves for losses.

Impaired Loans and Receivables

Impaired loans and receivables are defined by GAAP as individual larger balance or homogeneous pools of smaller balance restructured loans and receivables for which it is probable that the Company will be unable to collect all amounts due according to the original contractual terms of the loan and receivable agreement. The Company considers impaired loans and receivables to include: (i) loans over 90 days past due still accruing interest, (ii) non-accrual loans, and (iii) loans and receivables modified as troubled debt restructurings (TDRs).

The Company may modify, through various company sponsored programs, cardmember loans and receivables in instances where the cardmember is experiencing financial difficulty to minimize losses while providing cardmembers with temporary or permanent financial relief. The Company has classified cardmember loans and receivables in these modification programs as TDRs. Such modifications to the loans and receivables may include (i) reducing the interest rate (as low as zero percent, in which case the loan is characterized as non-accrual in the Company’s TDR disclosures), (ii) reducing the outstanding balance (in the event of a settlement), (iii) suspending delinquency fees until the cardmember exits the modification program, and (iv) placing the cardmember on a fixed payment plan not to exceed 60 months. Upon entering the modification program, the cardmember’s ability to make future purchases is either cancelled, or in certain cases suspended until the cardmember successfully exits the modification program. In accordance with the modification agreement with the cardmember, loans with modified terms will revert back to the original contractual terms (including contractual interest rate) when the cardmember exits the modification program,

 

13


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

either (i) when all payments have been made in accordance with the modification agreement or (ii) the cardmember defaults out of the modification program. In either case, the Company establishes a reserve for cardmember interest charges considered to be uncollectible. The performance of a loan or a receivable modified as a TDR is closely monitored to understand its impact on the Company’s reserve for losses. Though the ultimate success of modification programs remains uncertain, the Company believes the programs improve the cumulative loss performance of such loans and receivables.

Reserves for cardmember loans and receivables modified as TDRs are determined by the difference between the cash flows expected to be received from the cardmember, taking into consideration the probability of subsequent defaults, discounted at the original effective interest rates, and the carrying value of the cardmember loan or receivable balance. The Company determines the original effective interest rate as the interest rate in effect prior to the imposition of any penalty interest rate. All changes in the impairment measurement, including the component due to the passage of time, are included in the provision for losses in the Consolidated Statements of Income.

The following table provides additional information with respect to the Company’s impaired cardmember loans and receivables, which are not significant for ICS and GCS, as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:

 

$0000 $0000 $0000 $0000 $0000 $0000
                                                         
2012 (Millions)      Loans over
90 Days
Past Due
& Accruing
Interest
(a)
     Non-
      Accrual
Loans
(b)
     Loans &
Receivables
Modified
as a TDR
(c)
     Total
Impaired
Loans &
Receivables
     Unpaid
  Principal
Balance
(d)
     Allowance
for TDRs
(e)
 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Cardmember Loans:

                   

U.S. Card Services

     $ 58       $ 473       $ 754       $ 1,285      $ 1,226       $ 180   

International Card Services

       66         5         8         79        77         1   

Cardmember Receivables:

                   

U.S. Card Services

                       145         145        137         110   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

     $ 124       $ 478       $ 907       $ 1,509      $ 1,440       $ 291   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 
                                                         
                                                         
2011 (Millions)      Loans over
90 Days
Past Due
& Accruing
Interest
(a)
     Non-
Accrual
Loans
(b)
     Loans &
Receivables
Modified
as a TDR
(c)
     Total
Impaired
Loans &
Receivables
     Unpaid
Principal
Balance
(d)
     Allowance
for TDRs
(e)
 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Cardmember Loans:

                   

U.S. Card Services

     $ 64       $ 529       $ 736       $ 1,329      $ 1,268       $ 174   

International Card Services

       67         6         8         81        80         2   

Cardmember Receivables:

                   

U.S. Card Services

                       174         174        165         118   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

     $ 131       $ 535       $ 918       $ 1,584      $ 1,513       $ 294   
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 
                                                         

 

  (a)

The Company’s policy is generally to accrue interest through the date of write-off (at 180 days past due). The Company establishes reserves for interest that the Company believes will not be collected. Excludes loans modified as a TDR.

 

  (b)

Non-accrual loans not in modification programs include certain cardmember loans placed with outside collection agencies for which the Company has ceased accruing interest. The Company’s policy is not to resume the accrual of interest on these loans. Payments received are applied against the recorded loan balance. Interest income is recognized on a cash basis for any payments received after the loan balance has been paid in full. Excludes loans modified as a TDR.

 

  (c)

The total loans and receivables modified as a TDR include $411 million and $410 million that are non-accrual and $4 million and $4 million that are past due 90 days and still accruing interest as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively.

 

  (d)

Unpaid principal balance consists of cardmember charges billed and excludes other amounts charged directly by the Company such as interest and fees.

 

  (e)

Represents the reserve for losses for TDRs, which are evaluated separately for impairment. The Company records a reserve for losses for all impaired loans. Refer to Cardmember Loans Evaluated Separately and Collectively for Impairment in Note 5 for further discussion of the reserve for losses on loans over 90 days past due and accruing interest and non-accrual loans, which are evaluated collectively for impairment.

 

14


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

The following table provides information with respect to the Company’s interest income recognized and average balances of impaired cardmember loans and receivables, which are not significant for ICS and GCS, during the three months ended March 31:

 

$00,000,000 $00,000,000 $00,000,000 $00,000,000
                                   
        2012      2011

(Millions)

     Interest
Income
        Recognized
                 Average
Balance
     Interest
Income
        Recognized
    

Average
Balance

Cardmember Loans:

             

U.S. Card Services

     $             16      $             1,307      $             18      $                2,036

International Card Services

       4        80        9      130

Cardmember Receivables:

             

U.S. Card Services

               160              118
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

Total

     $ 20      $ 1,547      $ 27      $                2,284
    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

                                   

Cardmember Loans and Receivables Modified as TDRs

The following table provides additional information with respect to the cardmember loans and receivables modified as TDRs, which are not significant for ICS, during the three months ended March 31:

 

$00,000,000 $00,000,000 $00,000,000 $00,000,000 $00,000,000 $00,000,000
                                                   
     

 

2012

     2011

(Accounts in thousands,
Dollars in millions)

   Number of
Accounts
     Aggregated
Pre-
Modification
Outstanding
Balances
(a)
     Aggregated
Post-
Modification
Outstanding
Balances
(a)
     Number of
Accounts
     Aggregated
Pre-
Modification
Outstanding
Balances
(a)
    

Aggregated
Post-
Modification
Outstanding
Balances
(a)

Troubled Debt Restructurings:

                 

U.S. Card Services — Cardmember Loans

                     32      $             229       $             223                        42      $             320       $                306

U.S. Card Services — Cardmember Receivables

     11        128         125         12        93       90
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

Total(b)

     43      $ 357       $ 348         54      $ 413       $                396
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

                                                   

 

  (a)

Includes principal and accrued interest.

 

  (b)

The difference between the pre- and post-modification outstanding balances is attributable to amounts charged off for cardmember loans and receivables being resolved through the Company’s short-term settlement programs.

As described previously, the Company’s cardmember loans and receivables modification programs may include (i) reducing the interest rate, (ii) reducing the outstanding balance, (iii) suspending delinquency fees and (iv) placing the cardmember on a fixed payment plan not exceeding 60 months. Upon entering the modification program, the cardmember’s ability to make future purchases is either cancelled, or in certain cases suspended until the cardmember successfully exits the TDR program.

The Company has evaluated the primary financial effects of the impact of the changes to an account upon modification as follows:

 

   

Interest Rate Reduction: For the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, the average interest rate reduction was 13 and 11 percentage points, respectively, which did not have a significant impact on interest and fees on loans in the Consolidated Statements of Income. The Company does not offer interest rate reduction programs for U.S. Card Services (USCS) cardmember receivables as these receivables are non-interest bearing.

 

   

Outstanding Balance Reduction: The table above presents the financial effects to the Company as a result of reducing the outstanding balance for Short-Term Settlement Programs. The difference between the pre- and post-modification outstanding balances represents the amount that either has been written-off or will be written-off upon successful completion of the settlement program.

 

   

Payment Term Extension: For the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, the average payment term extension was approximately 15 months for USCS cardmember receivables. For USCS cardmember loans, there have been no payment term extensions.

 

15


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

The following table provides information for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, with respect to the cardmember loans and receivables modified as TDRs on which there was a default within the previous 12 months of modification. A cardmember will default from a modification program after one and up to three consecutive missed payments, depending on the terms of the modification program. The defaulted ICS cardmember loan modifications were not significant.

 

000 000 000 000
                                 
      2012      2011

(Accounts in thousands,

Dollars in millions)

         Number of
Accounts
     Aggregated  
Outstanding
Balances
Upon Default
(a)
           Number of
Accounts
    

Aggregated  
Outstanding
Balances
Upon Default
(a)

Troubled Debt Restructurings That Subsequently Defaulted:

           

U.S. Card Services — Cardmember Loans

     9       $     63         14       $                109

U.S. Card Services — Cardmember Receivables

     1         12         2       12
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

Total

     10       $ 75         16       $                121
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

                                 

 

  (a)

The outstanding balance includes principal and accrued interest.

 

5.

Reserves for Losses

Reserves for losses relating to cardmember loans and receivables represent management’s best estimate of the losses inherent in the Company’s outstanding portfolio of loans and receivables. Management’s evaluation process requires certain estimates and judgments.

Reserves for losses are primarily based upon statistical models that analyze portfolio performance and reflect management’s judgment regarding overall reserve adequacy. The models take into account several factors, including loss migration rates and average losses and recoveries over an appropriate historical period. Management considers whether to adjust the models for specific factors such as increased risk in certain portfolios, impact of risk management initiatives on portfolio performance and concentration of credit risk based on factors such as vintage, industry or geographic regions. In addition, management may increase or decrease the reserves for losses on cardmember loans for other external environmental factors including leading economic and market indicators such as the unemployment rate, home price indices, Gross Domestic Product, non-farm payrolls, personal consumption expenditures index, consumer confidence index, bankruptcy filings and the legal and regulatory environment. Generally, due to the short-term nature of cardmember receivables, the impact of additional external factors on the losses inherent within the cardmember receivable portfolio is not significant. As part of this evaluation process, management also considers various reserve coverage metrics, such as reserves as a percentage of past due amounts, reserves as a percentage of cardmember receivables or loans and net write-off coverage.

Cardmember loans and receivables balances are written-off when management considers amounts to be uncollectible, which is generally determined by the number of days past due and is typically no later than 180 days. Cardmember loans and receivables in bankruptcy or owed by deceased individuals are written off upon notification and recoveries are recognized on a cash basis as collected.

 

16


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

Changes in Cardmember Receivables Reserve for Losses

The following table presents changes in the cardmember receivables reserve for losses for the three months ended March 31:

 

1234567890 1234567890
                    

(Millions)

                       2012                       2011  

Balance, January 1

     $ 438     $ 386  

Additions:

      

Provisions(a)

       149       160  

Other(b)

       29       38  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total provision

       178       198  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Deductions:

      

Net write-offs(c)

       (182     (132

Other(d)

       (10     (31
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Balance, March 31

     $ 424     $ 421  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 
                    

 

  (a)

Provisions for principal (resulting from authorized transactions) and fee reserve components.

 

  (b)

Primarily provisions for unauthorized transactions.

 

  (c)

Consists of principal (resulting from authorized transactions) and fee components, less recoveries of $93 million and $84 million for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively.

 

  (d)

Includes net write-offs resulting from unauthorized transactions and foreign currency translation adjustments.

Cardmember Receivables Evaluated Individually and Collectively for Impairment

The following table presents cardmember receivables evaluated individually and collectively for impairment and related reserves as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:

 

                   

(Millions)

                  2012                     2011  

Cardmember receivables evaluated individually for impairment(a)

   $            145      $              174  

Related reserves(a)

   $            110      $              118  

 

 

Cardmember receivables evaluated collectively for impairment

   $       41,362      $         40,716  

Related reserves

   $            314      $              320  
                   

 

  (a)

Represents receivables modified in a TDR and related reserves. Refer to the Impaired Loans and Receivables discussion in Note 4 for further information.

 

17


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

Changes in Cardmember Loans Reserve for Losses

The following table presents changes in the cardmember loans reserve for losses for the three months ended March 31:

 

                  

(Millions)

     2012       2011  

Balance, January 1

   $             1,874     $             3,646  

Additions:

    

Provisions(a)

     185       (139

Other(b)

     27       19  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total provision

     212       (120
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Deductions:

    

Net write-offs – principal(c)

     (349     (535

Net write-offs – interest and fees(c)

     (44     (61

Other(d)

     (13     (9
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Balance, March 31

   $ 1,680     $             2,921  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 
                  

 

  (a)

Provisions for principal (resulting from authorized transactions), interest and fee reserves components.

 

  (b)

Primarily provisions for unauthorized transactions.

 

  (c)

Includes recoveries of $133 million and $150 million, respectively. Recoveries of interest and fees were de minimis.

 

  (d)

Includes net write-offs for unauthorized transactions and foreign currency translation adjustments.

Cardmember Loans Evaluated Individually and Collectively for Impairment

The following table presents cardmember loans evaluated individually and collectively for impairment and related reserves as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:

 

               

(Millions)

     2012     

2011

Cardmember loans evaluated individually for impairment(a)

   $ 762      $             744

Related reserves(a)

   $ 181      $             176

 

Cardmember loans evaluated collectively for impairment(b)

   $         59,335      $        61,877

Related reserves(b)

   $ 1,499      $          1,698
               

 

  (a)

Represents loans modified in a TDR and related reserves. Refer to the Impaired Loans and Receivables discussion in Note 4 for further information.

 

  (b)

Represents current loans and loans less than 90 days past due, loans over 90 days past due and accruing interest, and non-accrual loans and related reserves. The reserves include the results of analytical models that are specific to individual pools of loans and reserves for external environmental factors that apply broadly to all loans collectively evaluated for impairment and are not specific to any individual pool of loans.

 

6.

Investment Securities

Investment securities include debt and equity securities classified as available for sale. The Company’s investment securities, principally debt securities, are carried at fair value on the Consolidated Balance Sheets with unrealized gains (losses) recorded in Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (AOCI), net of income taxes. Realized gains and losses are recognized in results of operations upon disposition of the securities using the specific identification method on a trade date basis. Refer to Note 3 for a description of the Company’s methodology for determining the fair value of investment securities.

 

18


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

The following is a summary of investment securities as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:

 

123456 123456 123456 123456 123456 123456 123456 123456
                                                                     
     2012        2011

(Millions)

     Cost        
 
 
Gross
Unrealized
Gains
  
  
  
    
 
 
Gross
Unrealized
Losses
  
  
  
    
 

 

Estimated
Fair

Value

  
  

  

     Cost        
 
 
Gross
Unrealized
Gains
  
  
  
    
 
 
Gross
Unrealized
Losses
  
  
  
  

Estimated Fair

Value

State and municipal obligations

   $ 4,788      $ 130      $ (40    $ 4,878      $ 4,968      $ 103      $ (72    $            4,999

U.S. Government agency obligations

     3                        3        352        2              354

U.S. Government treasury obligations

     330        8                338        330        10              340

Corporate debt securities(a)

     628        7        (2      633        626        9        (3    632

Mortgage-backed securities(b)

     253        16                269        261        17              278

Equity securities(c)

     90        281                371        95        265              360

Foreign government bonds and obligations

     125        10                135        120        10              130

Other(d)

     51        1                52        54                      54
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

Total

   $ 6,268      $ 453      $ (42    $ 6,679      $ 6,806      $ 416      $ (75    $            7,147
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

                                                                     

 

  (a)

Each of the March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 balances include, on a cost basis, $0.6 billion of corporate debt obligations issued under the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP) that are guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

 

  (b)

Represents mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae.

 

  (c)

Primarily represents the Company’s investment in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

 

  (d)

Other is comprised of investments in various mutual funds.

The following table provides information about the Company’s investment securities with gross unrealized losses and the length of time that individual securities have been in a continuous unrealized loss position as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:

 

123456 123456 123456 123456 123456 123456 123456 123456
                                                                         
     2012        2011  

(Millions)

     Less than 12 months         12 months or more         Less than 12 months         12 months or more   

Description of Securities

    
 
Estimated
Fair Value
  
  
    
 
 
Gross
Unrealized
Losses
  
  
  
    
 
Estimated
Fair Value
  
  
    
 
 
Gross
Unrealized
Losses
  
  
  
    
 
Estimated
Fair Value
  
  
    
 
 
Gross
Unrealized
Losses
  
  
  
    
 
Estimated
Fair Value
  
  
    
 
 
Gross
Unrealized
Losses
  
  
  

State and municipal obligations

   $ 223      $ (5    $ 465      $ (35    $       $       $ 1,094      $ (72

Corporate debt securities

     16        (1      3        (1      15        (2      2        (1
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 239      $ (6    $ 468      $ (36    $ 15      $ (2    $ 1,096      $ (73
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 
                                                                         

The following table summarizes the gross unrealized losses due to temporary impairments by ratio of fair value to amortized cost as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:

 

123456 123456 123456 123456 123456 123456 123456 123456 123456
                                                                                  

(Dollars in millions)

     Less than 12 months         12 months or more         Total   

Ratio of Fair Value to

Amortized Cost

    
 
Number of
Securities
  
  
    
 
Estimated
Fair Value
  
  
    
 
 
Gross
Unrealized
Losses
  
  
  
    
 
Number of
Securities
  
  
    
 
Estimated
Fair Value
  
  
    
 
 
Gross
Unrealized
Losses
  
  
  
    
 
Number of
Securities
  
  
    
 
Estimated
Fair Value
  
  
    
 
 
Gross
Unrealized
Losses
  
  
  

2012:

                          

90%–100%

     33      $ 239      $ (6      41      $ 344      $ (18      74      $ 583      $ (24

Less than 90%

                             10        124        (18      10        124        (18
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total as of March 31, 2012

     33      $ 239      $ (6      51      $ 468      $ (36      84      $ 707      $ (42
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

2011:

                          

90%–100%

           $       $         114      $ 884      $ (35      114      $ 884      $ (35

Less than 90%

     1        15        (2      22        212        (38      23        227        (40
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total as of December 31, 2011

     1      $ 15      $ (2      136      $ 1,096      $ (73      137      $ 1,111      $ (75
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 
                                                                                  

The gross unrealized losses are attributed to overall wider credit spreads for state and municipal securities, wider credit spreads for specific issuers, adverse changes in market benchmark interest rates, or a combination thereof, all as compared to those prevailing when the investment securities were acquired.

 

19


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

Overall, for the investment securities in gross unrealized loss positions identified above, (i) the Company does not intend to sell the investment securities, (ii) it is more likely than not that the Company will not be required to sell the investment securities before recovery of the unrealized losses, and (iii) the Company expects that the contractual principal and interest will be received on the investment securities. As a result, the Company recognized no other-than-temporary impairment during the three months ended March 31, 2012 or the year ended December 31, 2011.

Supplemental Information

Gross realized gains on sales of investment securities, included in other non-interest revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, were $24 million and nil, respectively. There were no gross realized losses for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011.

Contractual maturities of investment securities, excluding equity securities and other securities, as of March 31, 2012 were as follows:

 

             

(Millions)

    

Cost

  

 

Estimated Fair Value

Due within 1 year

     $                   657    $                   663

Due after 1 year but within 5 years

     394    400

Due after 5 years but within 10 years

     221    233

Due after 10 years

     4,855    4,960
    

 

  

 

Total

     $                6,127    $                6,256
    

 

  

 

             

The expected payments on state and municipal obligations and mortgage-backed securities may not coincide with their contractual maturities because the issuers have the right to call or prepay certain obligations.

 

7.

Asset Securitizations

Charge Trust and Lending Trust

The Company periodically securitizes cardmember receivables and loans arising from its card business through the transfer of those assets to securitization trusts. The trusts then issue securities to third-party investors, collateralized by the transferred assets.

Cardmember receivables are transferred to the American Express Issuance Trust (the Charge Trust) and cardmember loans are transferred to the American Express Credit Account Master Trust (the Lending Trust). The Charge Trust and the Lending Trust are consolidated by American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. (TRS), which is a consolidated subsidiary of the Company. The trusts are considered VIEs as they have insufficient equity at risk to finance their activities, which are to issue securities that are collateralized by the underlying cardmember receivables and loans.

TRS, in its role as servicer of the Charge Trust and the Lending Trust, has the power to direct the most significant activity of the trusts, which is the collection of the underlying cardmember receivables and loans in the trusts. In addition, TRS owns approximately $0.9 billion of subordinated securities issued by the Lending Trust as of March 31, 2012. These subordinated securities have the obligation to absorb losses of the Lending Trust and provide the right to receive benefits from the Lending Trust, both of which are significant to the VIE. TRS’ role as servicer for the Charge Trust does not provide it with a significant obligation to absorb losses or a significant right to receive benefits. However, TRS’ position as the parent company of the entities that transferred the receivables to the Charge Trust makes it the party most closely related to the Charge Trust. Based on these considerations, TRS is the primary beneficiary of both the Charge Trust and the Lending Trust.

 

20


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

The debt securities issued by the Charge Trust and the Lending Trust are non-recourse to the Company. Securitized cardmember receivables and loans held by the Charge Trust and the Lending Trust are available only for payment of the debt securities or other obligations issued or arising in the securitization transactions. The long-term debt of each trust is payable only out of collections on their respective underlying securitized assets.

There was approximately $5 million and $15 million of restricted cash held by the Charge Trust as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively, and approximately $265 million and $192 million of restricted cash held by the Lending Trust as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively, included in other assets on the Company’s Consolidated Balance Sheets. These amounts relate to collections of cardmember receivables and loans to be used by the trusts to fund future expenses and obligations, including interest paid on investor certificates, credit losses and upcoming debt maturities.

Charge Trust and Lending Trust Triggering Events

Under the respective terms of the Charge Trust and the Lending Trust agreements, the occurrence of certain triggering events associated with the performance of the assets of each trust could result in payment of trust expenses, establishment of reserve funds, or in a worst-case scenario, early amortization of investor certificates. During the three months ended March 31, 2012 and the year ended December 31, 2011, no such triggering events occurred.

 

8.

Customer Deposits

As of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, customer deposits were categorized as interest-bearing or non-interest-bearing deposits as follows:

 

           

(Millions)

  

2012

  

2011

U.S.:

     

Interest-bearing

   $                37,537    $                37,271

Non-interest-bearing

   4    4

Non-U.S.:

     

Interest-bearing

   667    612

Non-interest-bearing

   11    11
  

 

  

 

Total customer deposits

   $                38,219    $                37,898
  

 

  

 

           

Customer deposits were aggregated by deposit type offered by the Company as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 as follows:

 

           

(Millions)

  

2012

  

2011

U.S. retail deposits:

     

Savings accounts – Direct

   $                15,795    $                14,649

Certificates of deposit:

     

Direct

   965    893

Third party

   9,684    10,781

Sweep accounts – Third party

   11,093    10,948

Other deposits

   682    627
  

 

  

 

Total customer deposits

   $                38,219    $                37,898
  

 

  

 

           

 

21


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

The scheduled maturities of certificates of deposit as of March 31, 2012 were as follows:

 

$00,000,000 $00,000,000 $00,000,000
                        

(Millions)

     U.S.         Non-U.S.      

Total

2012

   $ 2,138      $ 429      $            2,567

2013

     4,843        3      4,846

2014

     2,554              2,554

2015

     282              282

2016

     609              609

After 5 years

     223              223
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

Total

   $         10,649      $         432      $          11,081
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

                        

 

As of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, certificates of deposit in denominations of $100,000 or more were as follows:

 

                        

(Millions)

  

     2012     

2011

U.S.

  

   $         633      $               580

Non-U.S.

  

     352      304
  

 

 

    

 

Total

  

   $ 985      $               884
     

 

 

    

 

                        

 

9.

Derivatives and Hedging Activities

The Company uses derivative financial instruments (derivatives) to manage exposures to various market risks. Derivatives derive their value from an underlying variable or multiple variables, including interest rate, foreign exchange, and equity indices or prices. These instruments enable end users to increase, reduce or alter exposure to various market risks and, for that reason, are an integral component of the Company’s market risk management. The Company does not engage in derivatives for trading purposes.

Market risk is the risk to earnings or value resulting from movements in market prices. The Company’s market risk exposure is primarily generated by:

 

   

Interest rate risk in its card, insurance and Travelers Cheque businesses, as well as its investment portfolios; and

 

   

Foreign exchange risk in its operations outside the United States and the associated funding of such operations.

The Company centrally monitors market risks using market risk limits and escalation triggers as defined in its market risk policy.

The Company’s market exposures are in large part byproducts of the delivery of its products and services. Interest rate risk arises through the funding of cardmember receivables and fixed-rate loans with variable-rate borrowings as well as through the risk to net interest margin from changes in the relationship between benchmark rates such as Prime and LIBOR.

Interest rate exposure within the Company’s charge card and fixed-rate lending products is managed by varying the proportion of total funding provided by short-term and variable-rate debt and deposits compared to fixed-rate debt and deposits. In addition, interest rate swaps are used from time to time to economically convert fixed-rate debt obligations to variable-rate obligations or to convert variable-rate debt obligations to fixed-rate obligations. The Company may change the mix between variable-rate and fixed-rate funding based on changes in business volumes and mix, among other factors.

 

22


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

Foreign exchange risk is generated by cardmember cross-currency charges, foreign currency balance sheet exposures, foreign subsidiary equity and foreign currency earnings in entities outside the United States. The Company’s foreign exchange risk is managed primarily by entering into agreements to buy and sell currencies on a spot basis or by hedging this market exposure to the extent it is economically justified through various means, including the use of derivatives such as foreign exchange forwards, and cross-currency swap contracts, which can help mitigate the Company’s exposure to specific currencies.

In addition to the exposures identified above, effective August 1, 2011, the Company entered into a total return contract (TRC) to hedge its exposure to changes in the fair value of its equity investment in ICBC in local currency. Under the terms of the TRC, the Company receives from the TRC counterparty an amount equivalent to any reduction in the fair value of its investment in ICBC in local currency, and in return the Company pays to the TRC counterparty an amount equivalent to any increase in the fair value of its investment in local currency, along with all dividends paid by ICBC, as well as on-going hedge costs. The TRC matures on August 1, 2014.

Derivatives may give rise to counterparty credit risk, which is the risk that a derivative counterparty will default on, or otherwise be unable to perform pursuant to, an uncollateralized derivative exposure. The Company manages this risk by considering the current exposure, which is the replacement cost of contracts on the measurement date, as well as estimating the maximum potential value of the contracts over the next 12 months, considering such factors as the volatility of the underlying or reference index. To mitigate derivative credit risk, counterparties are required to be pre-approved by the Company and rated as investment grade. Counterparty risk exposures are centrally monitored by the Company. Additionally, in order to mitigate the bilateral counterparty credit risk associated with derivatives, the Company has in certain instances entered into master netting agreements with its derivative counterparties, which provide a right of offset for certain exposures between the parties. To further mitigate bilateral counterparty credit risk, the Company exercises its rights under executed credit support agreements with certain of its derivative counterparties. These agreements require that, in the event the fair value change in the net derivatives position between the two parties exceeds certain dollar thresholds, the party in the net liability position posts collateral to its counterparty.

In relation to the Company’s credit risk, under the terms of the derivative agreements it has with its various counterparties, the Company is not required to either immediately settle any outstanding liability balances or post collateral upon the occurrence of a specified credit risk-related event. Based on the assessment of credit risk of the Company’s derivative counterparties as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, the Company does not have derivative positions that warrant credit valuation adjustments.

The Company’s derivatives are carried at fair value on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. The accounting for changes in fair value depends on the instruments’ intended use and the resulting hedge designation, if any, as discussed below. Refer to Note 3 for a description of the Company’s methodology for determining the fair value of derivatives.

 

23


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

The following table summarizes the total fair value, excluding interest accruals, of derivative assets and liabilities as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:

 

                                    
      

 

Other Assets

Fair Value

  

  

   

 

Other Liabilities

Fair Value

  

  

(Millions)

       2012        2011        2012        2011   

Derivatives designated as hedging instruments:

          

Interest rate contracts

          

Fair value hedges

     $ 918      $ 999      $      $   

Cash flow hedges

                            1   

Total return contract

          

Fair value hedge

       42        13                 

Foreign exchange contracts

          

Net investment hedges

       40        344        182        44   
    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total derivatives designated as hedging instruments

     $ 1,000      $ 1,356      $ 182      $ 45   
    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Derivatives not designated as hedging instruments:

          

Interest rate contracts

     $      $ 1      $      $   

Foreign exchange contracts, including certain embedded derivatives(a)

       70        159        106        60   

Equity-linked embedded derivative(b)

                     2        3   
    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total derivatives not designated as hedging instruments

       70        160        108        63   
    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total derivatives, gross

     $         1,070      $         1,516      $         290      $         108   
    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Cash collateral netting(c)

       (591     (587              
    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Derivative asset and derivative liability netting(c)

       (14     (14     (14     (14
    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total derivatives, net

     $ 465      $ 915      $ 276      $ 94   
    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 
                                    

 

  (a)

Includes foreign currency derivatives embedded in certain operating agreements.

 

  (b)

Represents an equity-linked derivative embedded in one of the Company’s investment securities.

 

  (c)

As permitted under GAAP, balances represent the netting of cash collateral received and posted under credit support agreements, and the netting of derivative assets and derivative liabilities under master netting agreements.

Derivative Financial Instruments that Qualify for Hedge Accounting

Derivatives executed for hedge accounting purposes are documented and designated as such when the Company enters into the contracts. In accordance with its risk management policies, the Company structures its hedges with terms similar to that of the item being hedged. The Company formally assesses, at inception of the hedge accounting relationship and on a quarterly basis, whether derivatives designated as hedges are highly effective in offsetting the fair value or cash flows of the hedged items. These assessments usually are made through the application of a regression analysis method. If it is determined that a derivative is not highly effective as a hedge, the Company will discontinue the application of hedge accounting.

Fair Value Hedges

A fair value hedge involves a derivative designated to hedge the Company’s exposure to future changes in the fair value of an asset or a liability, or an identified portion thereof that is attributable to a particular risk.

Interest Rate Contracts

The Company is exposed to interest rate risk associated with its fixed-rate long-term debt. The Company uses interest rate swaps to economically convert certain fixed-rate long-term debt obligations to floating-rate obligations at the time of issuance. As of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, the Company hedged $18.7 billion and $17.1 billion, respectively, of its fixed-rate debt to floating-rate debt using interest rate swaps.

To the extent the fair value hedge is effective, the gain or loss on the hedging instrument offsets the loss or gain on the hedged item attributable to the hedged risk. Any difference between the changes in the fair value of the derivative and the hedged item is referred to as hedge ineffectiveness and is reflected in earnings as a component of other expenses. Hedge ineffectiveness may be caused by differences between the debt’s interest coupon and the benchmark rate, primarily due to credit spreads at inception of the hedging relationship that are not reflected in the valuation of the interest rate swap. Furthermore, hedge ineffectiveness may be caused by changes in the

 

24


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

relationship between 3-month LIBOR and 1-month LIBOR, as basis spreads may impact the valuation of the interest rate swap without causing an offsetting impact in the value of the hedged debt. If a fair value hedge is de-designated or no longer considered to be effective, changes in fair value of the derivative continue to be recorded through earnings but the hedged asset or liability is no longer adjusted for changes in fair value resulting from changes in interest rates. The existing basis adjustment of the hedged asset or liability is amortized or accreted as an adjustment to yield over the remaining life of that asset or liability.

Total Return Contract

The Company hedges its exposure to changes in the fair value of its equity investment in ICBC in local currency. The Company uses a TRC to transfer this exposure to its derivative counterparty. As of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, the fair value of the equity investment in ICBC was $369 million (572.7 million shares) and $359 million (605.4 million shares), respectively. To the extent the hedge is effective, the gain or loss on the TRC offsets the loss or gain on the investment in ICBC. Any difference between the changes in the fair value of the derivative and the hedged item results in hedge ineffectiveness and is recognized in other expenses in the Consolidated Statements of Income.

The following table summarizes the impact on the Consolidated Statements of Income associated with the Company’s hedges of its fixed-rate long-term debt and its investment in ICBC for the three months ended March 31:

 

123456 123456 123456 123456 123456 123456 123456 123456
                                                                    
    

Gains (losses) recognized in income

  

(Millions)

    

Derivative contract

  

 

Hedged item

  

     Net hedge   

Derivative

relationship

    

Income Statement

Line Item

       Amount     

Income Statement

Line Item

       Amount         ineffectiveness(a)   
            2012        2011             2012         2011         2012        2011   

Interest rate contracts

    

Other, net expenses

     $ (83   $     (158  

Other, net expenses

     $ 69       $ 139       $ (14   $ (19

Total return contract

    

Other non-interest revenues

       (32         

Other non-interest revenues

       32                          
                                                                    

 

  (a)

Net hedge ineffectiveness on the TRC is reclassified from other non-interest revenues to other expenses.

The Company also recognized a net reduction in interest expense on long-term debt of $122 million and $125 million for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively, primarily related to the net settlements (interest accruals) on the Company’s interest rate derivatives designated as fair value hedges.

Cash Flow Hedges

A cash flow hedge involves a derivative designated to hedge the Company’s exposure to variable future cash flows attributable to a particular risk. Such exposures may relate to either an existing recognized asset or liability or a forecasted transaction. The Company hedges existing long-term variable-rate debt, the rollover of short-term borrowings and the anticipated forecasted issuance of additional funding through the use of derivatives, primarily interest rate swaps. These derivative instruments economically convert floating-rate debt obligations to fixed-rate obligations for the duration of the instrument. As of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, the Company hedged $315 million and $305 million, respectively, of its floating-rate debt using interest rate swaps.

For derivatives designated as cash flow hedges, the effective portion of the gain or loss on the derivatives is recorded in AOCI and reclassified into earnings when the hedged cash flows are recognized in earnings. The amount that is reclassified into earnings is presented in the Consolidated Statements of Income in the same line item in which the hedged instrument or transaction is recognized, primarily in interest expense. Any ineffective portion of the gain or loss on the derivatives is reported as a component of other expenses. If a cash flow hedge is de-designated or terminated prior to maturity, the amount previously recorded in AOCI is recognized into earnings over the period that the hedged item impacts earnings. If a hedge relationship is discontinued because it is probable that the forecasted transaction will not occur according to the original strategy, any related amounts previously recorded in AOCI are recognized into earnings immediately.

 

25


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

In the normal course of business, as the hedged cash flows are recognized into earnings, the Company expects to reclassify $0.3 million of net pretax losses on derivatives from AOCI into earnings during the next 12 months.

Net Investment Hedges

A net investment hedge is used to hedge future changes in currency exposure of a net investment in a foreign operation. The Company primarily designates foreign currency derivatives, typically foreign exchange forwards, and on occasion foreign currency denominated debt, as hedges of net investments in certain foreign operations. These instruments reduce exposure to changes in currency exchange rates on the Company’s investments in non-U.S. subsidiaries. The effective portion of the gain or loss on net investment hedges is recorded in AOCI as part of the cumulative translation adjustment. Any ineffective portion of the gain or loss on net investment hedges is recognized in other expenses during the period of change.

The following table summarizes the impact of cash flow hedges and net investment hedges on the Consolidated Statements of Income for the three months ended March 31:

 

                                                  
    

Gains (losses) recognized in income

  

         

Amount reclassified from AOCI into income

   

        
 
Net hedge
ineffectiveness
  
  

(Millions)

    

Income Statement Line Item

    

2012

       2011     

Income Statement Line Item

       2012         2011   

Cash flow hedges:(a)

                        

Interest rate contracts

     Interest expense      $        —      $         (8   Other, net expenses      $         —       $         —   

Net investment hedges:

                        

Foreign exchange contracts

     Other, net expenses      $        —      $           —      Other, net expenses      $         —       $         (3
                                                  

 

  (a)

During the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, there were no forecasted transactions that were considered no longer probable to occur.

Derivatives Not Designated as Hedges

The Company has derivatives that act as economic hedges, but are not designated as such for hedge accounting purposes. Foreign currency transactions and non-U.S. dollar cash flow exposures from time to time may be partially or fully economically hedged through foreign currency contracts, primarily foreign exchange forwards, options and cross-currency swaps. These hedges generally mature within one year. Foreign currency contracts involve the purchase and sale of a designated currency at an agreed upon rate for settlement on a specified date. The changes in the fair value of the derivatives effectively offset the related foreign exchange gains or losses on the underlying balance sheet exposures. From time to time, the Company may enter into interest rate swaps to specifically manage funding costs related to its proprietary card business.

The Company has certain operating agreements containing payments that may be linked to a market rate or price, primarily foreign currency rates. The payment components of these agreements may meet the definition of an embedded derivative, in which case the embedded derivative is accounted for separately and is classified as a foreign exchange contract based on its primary risk exposure. In addition, the Company holds an investment security containing an embedded equity-linked derivative.

For derivatives that are not designated as hedges, changes in fair value are reported in current period earnings.

 

26


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

The following table summarizes the impact on pre-tax earnings of derivatives not designated as hedges, as reported on the Consolidated Statements of Income for the three months ended March 31:

 

                        
    

Pre-tax gains (losses)

(Millions)             Amount

Description

    

Income Statement Line Item

       2012      

2011

Interest rate contracts

     Other, net expenses      $             (1    $              2

Foreign exchange contracts(a)

     Interest and dividends on investment securities              2
     Interest expense on short-term borrowings              1
     Interest expense on long-term debt and other              30
     Other, net expenses        (102    19

Equity-linked contract

     Other non-interest revenues        1       1
         

 

 

    

 

Total

          $       (102    $            55
         

 

 

    

 

                        

 

  (a)

For the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, foreign exchange contracts include embedded foreign currency derivatives. Gains (losses) on these embedded derivatives are included in other expenses.

 

10.

Guarantees

The Company provides cardmember protection plans that cover losses associated with purchased products, as well as certain other guarantees in the ordinary course of business which are within the scope of GAAP governing the accounting for guarantees.

In relation to its maximum potential undiscounted future payments as shown in the table that follows, to date the Company has not experienced any significant losses related to guarantees. The Company’s initial recognition of guarantees is at fair value, which has been determined in accordance with GAAP governing fair value measurement. In addition, the Company establishes reserves when a loss is probable and the amount can be reasonably estimated.

The following table provides information related to such guarantees as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:

 

                                         
      
 
 
 
Maximum potential
undiscounted future
payments
(a)
(Billions)
  
  
  
  
      
 
Related liability(b)
(Millions)

Type of Guarantee

       2012           2011           2012        

2011

Card and travel operations(c)

     $   45         $   51         $ 98         $          96

Other(d)

       1           1           99         98
    

 

 

      

 

 

      

 

 

      

 

Total

     $   46         $   52         $       197         $        194
    

 

 

      

 

 

      

 

 

      

 

                                         

 

  (a)

Represents the notional amounts that could be lost under the guarantees and indemnifications if there were a total default by the guaranteed parties. The Merchant Protection guarantee is calculated using management’s best estimate of maximum exposure based on all eligible claims as measured against annual billed business volumes. The Company mitigates this risk by withholding settlement from the merchant or obtaining deposits and other guarantees from merchants considered higher risk due to various factors. The amounts being held by the Company are not significant when compared to the maximum potential undiscounted future payments.

 

  (b)

Included as part of other liabilities on the Company’s Consolidated Balance Sheets.

 

  (c)

Includes Return Protection, Account Protection and Merchant Protection, all of which the Company offers directly to cardmembers.

 

  (d)

Primarily includes guarantees related to the Company’s business dispositions and real estate.

 

11.

Income Taxes

The Company is under continuous examination by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and tax authorities in other countries and states in which the Company has significant business operations. The tax years under examination and open for examination vary by jurisdiction. The IRS has completed its field examination of the Company’s federal tax returns for years through 2004, however refund claims for those years continue to be reviewed by the IRS. In addition, the Company is currently under examination by the IRS for the years 2005 through 2007.

 

27


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

The Company believes it is reasonably possible that its unrecognized tax benefits could decrease within the next 12 months by as much as $902 million principally as a result of potential resolutions of prior years’ tax items with various taxing authorities. The prior years’ tax items include unrecognized tax benefits relating to the deductibility of certain expenses or losses and the attribution of taxable income to a particular jurisdiction or jurisdictions. Of the $902 million of unrecognized tax benefits, approximately $685 million relates to amounts that if recognized would be recorded to shareholders’ equity and would not impact the effective tax rate. With respect to the remaining $217 million, it is not possible to quantify the impact that the decrease could have on the effective tax rate and net income due to the inherent complexities and the number of tax years open for examination in multiple jurisdictions. Resolution of the prior years’ items that comprise this remaining amount could have an impact on the effective tax rate and on net income, either favorably (principally as a result of settlements that are less than the liability for unrecognized tax benefits) or unfavorably (if such settlements exceed the liability for unrecognized tax benefits).

The following table summarizes the Company’s effective tax rate:

 

                            
      
 
Three Months Ended
March 31, 2012
(b)
  
  
   
 
Three Months Ended
March 31, 2011
  
  
   

 

Year Ended

December 31, 2011(c)

  

  

Effective tax rate(a)

       29.2 %       32.0 %       29.6 %
                            

 

  (a)

Each of the periods reflects recurring, permanent tax benefits in relation to the level of pretax income.

 

  (b)

The income tax provision for the three months ended March 31, 2012 includes a $50 million tax benefit related to the realization of certain foreign tax credits.

 

  (c)

The income tax provision for the year ended December 31, 2011 included benefits related to the realization of certain foreign tax credits as well as the favorable resolution of certain prior years’ tax items.

 

12.

Earnings Per Common Share (EPS)

The computations of basic and diluted EPS for the three months ended March 31 were as follows:

 

                    

(Millions, except per share amounts)

       2012        2011   

Numerator:

      

Basic and diluted:

      

Net income

     $         1,256      $         1,177   

Earnings allocated to participating share awards(a)

       (14     (14
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income attributable to common shareholders

     $ 1,242      $ 1,163   
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Denominator:(a)

      

Basic: Weighted-average common stock

       1,160        1,192   

Add: Weighted-average stock options(b)

       6        6   
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Diluted

       1,166        1,198   
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Basic EPS

     $ 1.07      $ 0.98   

Diluted EPS

     $ 1.07      $ 0.97   
                    

 

  (a)

The Company’s unvested restricted stock awards, which include the right to receive non-forfeitable dividends or dividend equivalents, are considered participating securities. Calculations of EPS under the two-class method exclude from the numerator any dividends paid or owed on participating securities and any undistributed earnings considered to be attributable to participating securities. The related participating securities are similarly excluded from the denominator.

 

  (b)

For the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, the dilutive effect of unexercised stock options excludes 8 million and 23 million options, respectively, from the computation of EPS because inclusion of the options would have been anti-dilutive.

For the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, the Company met specified performance measures related to the Subordinated Debentures of $750 million issued in 2006, which resulted in no impact to EPS. If the performance measures were not achieved in any given quarter, the Company would be required to issue common shares and apply the proceeds to make interest payments.

 

28


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

13.

Details of Certain Consolidated Statements of Income Line Items

The following is a detail of other commissions and fees for the three months ended March 31:

 

                   

(Millions)

       2012       

2011

Foreign currency conversion revenue

     $            207        $           213

Delinquency fees

       162        143

Service fees

       93        87

Other

       121        86
    

 

 

      

 

Total other commissions and fees

     $ 583        $           529
    

 

 

      

 

                   

 

The following is a detail of other revenues for the three months ended March 31:

 

                   

(Millions)

       2012       

2011

Global Network Services partner revenues

     $            151        $           146

Insurance premium revenue

       85        62

Gain on investment securities

       24       

Other

       320        267
    

 

 

      

 

Total other revenues

     $ 580        $           475
    

 

 

      

 

                   

 

Other revenues include revenues arising from contracts with Global Network Services (GNS) partners including royalties and signing fees, insurance premiums earned from cardmember travel and other insurance programs, publishing revenues and other miscellaneous revenues and fees.

 

The following is a detail of marketing, promotion, rewards and cardmember services for the three months ended March 31:

 

                   

(Millions)

       2012       

2011

Marketing and promotion

     $ 631        $           709

Cardmember rewards

       1,467        1,577

Cardmember services

       221        164
    

 

 

      

 

Total marketing, promotion, rewards and cardmember services

     $         2,319        $        2,450
    

 

 

      

 

                   

 

Marketing and promotion expense includes advertising costs, which are expensed in the year in which the advertising first takes place. Cardmember rewards expense includes the costs of rewards programs, including Membership Rewards and co-brand arrangements. Cardmember services expense includes protection plans and complimentary services provided to cardmembers.

 

The following is a detail of other, net expense for the three months ended March 31:

 

                   

(Millions)

       2012        

2011 

Occupancy and equipment

     $ 438         $          394 

Communications

       96         95 

MasterCard and Visa settlements, net of legal fees

               (213)

Other

       250         291 
    

 

 

      

 

Total other, net expense

     $            784         $          567 
    

 

 

      

 

                   

 

Other, net expense includes general operating expenses, gains (losses) on sale of assets or businesses not classified as discontinued operations, litigation and insurance costs or settlements and certain Loyalty Partner expenses.

 

29


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

14.

Contingencies

The Company and its subsidiaries are involved in a number of legal proceedings concerning matters arising out of the conduct of their respective business activities and are periodically subject to governmental and regulatory examinations, information gathering requests, subpoenas, inquiries and investigations (collectively, governmental examinations). As of March 31, 2012, the Company and various of its subsidiaries were named as a defendant or were otherwise involved in numerous legal proceedings and governmental examinations in various jurisdictions, both in and outside the United States. The Company discloses its material legal proceedings and governmental examinations under Item 1. Legal Proceedings in Part II. Other Information and under “Legal Proceedings” in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 (collectively, Legal Proceedings).

The Company has recorded liabilities for certain of its outstanding legal proceedings and governmental examinations. A liability is accrued when it is both (a) probable that a loss with respect to the legal proceeding has occurred and (b) the amount of loss can be reasonably estimated. As discussed below, there may be instances in which an exposure to loss exceeds the accrued liability. The Company evaluates, on a quarterly basis, developments in legal proceedings and governmental examinations that could cause an increase or decrease in the amount of the liability that has been previously accrued or revision to the disclosed estimated range of possible losses, as applicable.

The Company’s legal proceedings range from cases brought by a single plaintiff to class actions with hundreds of thousands of putative class members. These legal proceedings, as well as governmental examinations, involve various lines of business of the Company and a variety of claims (including, but not limited to, common law tort, contract, antitrust and consumer protection claims), some of which present novel factual allegations and/or unique legal theories. While some matters pending against the Company specify the damages claimed by the plaintiff, many seek a not-yet-quantified amount of damages or are at very early stages of the legal process. Even when the amount of damages claimed against the Company are stated, the claimed amount may be exaggerated and/or unsupported. As a result, some matters have not yet progressed sufficiently through discovery and/or development of important factual information and legal issues to enable the Company to estimate a range of possible loss.

Other matters have progressed sufficiently through discovery and/or development of important factual information and legal issues such that the Company is able to estimate a range of possible loss. Accordingly, for those legal proceedings and governmental examinations disclosed or referred to in Legal Proceedings as to which a loss is reasonably possible in future periods, whether in excess of a related accrued liability or where there is no accrued liability, and for which the Company is able to estimate a range of possible loss, the current estimated range is zero to $510 million in excess of any accrued liability related to those matters. This aggregate range represents management’s estimate of possible loss with respect to these matters and is based on currently available information. This estimated range of possible loss does not represent the Company’s maximum loss exposure. The legal proceedings and governmental examinations underlying the estimated range will change from time to time and actual results may vary significantly from current estimates.

Based on its current knowledge, and taking into consideration its litigation-related liabilities, the Company believes it is not a party to, nor are any of its properties the subject of, any pending legal proceeding or governmental examination that would have a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated financial condition or liquidity. However, in light of the uncertainties involved in such matters, the ultimate outcome of a particular matter could be material to the Company’s operating results for a particular period depending on, among other factors, the size of the loss or liability imposed and the level of the Company’s earnings for that period.

 

30


Table of Contents

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Unaudited)

 

15.

Reportable Operating Segments

The Company is a leading global payments and travel company that is principally engaged in businesses comprising four reportable operating segments: USCS, ICS, GCS and Global Network & Merchant Services (GNMS). Corporate functions and auxiliary businesses, including the Company’s publishing business, the Enterprise Growth Group (including the Global Prepaid Group), as well as other Company operations are included in Corporate & Other.

The following table presents certain operating segment information for the three months ended March 31:

 

                  

(Millions)

     2012       2011  

Non-interest revenues:

    

USCS

   $         2,754     $         2,522  

ICS

     1,106       1,017  

GCS

     1,216       1,177  

GNMS

     1,186       1,088  

Corporate & Other, including adjustments and eliminations(a)

     219       157  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

   $ 6,481     $ 5,961  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Interest income:

    

USCS

   $ 1,314     $ 1,258  

ICS

     293       297  

GCS

     3       2  

GNMS

     4       1  

Corporate & Other, including adjustments and eliminations(a)

     93       105  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

   $ 1,707     $ 1,663  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Interest expense:

    

USCS

   $ 184     $ 203  

ICS

     100       106  

GCS

     62       58  

GNMS

     (58     (48

Corporate & Other, including adjustments and eliminations(a)

     286       274  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

   $ 574     $ 593  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total revenues, net of interest expense:

    

USCS

   $ 3,884     $ 3,577  

ICS

     1,299       1,208  

GCS

     1,157       1,121  

GNMS

     1,248       1,137  

Corporate & Other, including adjustments and eliminations(a)

     26       (12
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

   $ 7,614     $ 7,031  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income (loss):

    

USCS

   $ 752     $ 555  

ICS

     197       189  

GCS

     177       184  

GNMS

     357       313  

Corporate & Other, including adjustments and eliminations(a)

     (227     (64
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

   $ 1,256     $ 1,177  
  

 

 

   

 

 

 
                  

 

  (a)

Corporate & Other includes adjustments and eliminations for intersegment activity.

 

31


Table of Contents
  ITEM 2.

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Business Introduction

American Express is a global services company that provides customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. The Company’s principal products and services are charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services offered to consumers and businesses around the world. The Company’s range of products and services include:

 

   

charge and credit card products;

 

   

expense management products and services;

 

   

consumer and business travel services;

 

   

stored-value products such as Travelers Cheques and other prepaid products;

 

   

network services;

 

   

merchant acquisition and processing, servicing and settlement, and point-of-sale, marketing and information products and services for merchants; and

 

   

fee services, including market and trend analyses and related consulting services, fraud prevention services, and the design of customized customer loyalty and rewards programs.

The Company’s products and services are sold globally to diverse customer groups, including consumers, small businesses, mid-sized companies and large corporations. These products and services are sold through various channels, including direct mail, online applications, in-house and third-party sales forces and direct response advertising.

The Company competes in the global payments industry with charge, credit and debit card networks, issuers and acquirers, as well as evolving alternative payment mechanisms, systems and products. As the payments industry continues to evolve, the Company is facing increasing competition from non-traditional players, such as online networks, telecom providers and software-as-a-service providers, who leverage new technologies and customers’ existing charge and credit card accounts and bank relationships to create payment or other fee-based solutions. In 2009, the Company established the Enterprise Growth Group, which focuses on generating alternative sources of global revenues in areas such as online and mobile payments and fee-based services. In addition to the Enterprise Growth Group, the Company is seeking to transform all of its businesses for the digital marketplace, including increasing the Company’s share of online spend across all products and enhancing customers’ digital experiences.

The Company’s products and services generate the following types of revenue for the Company:

 

   

Discount revenue, which is the Company’s largest revenue source, represents fees charged to merchants when cardmembers use their cards to purchase goods and services at merchants on the Company’s network;

 

   

Net card fees, which represent revenue earned for annual card membership fees;

 

   

Travel commissions and fees, which are earned by charging a transaction or management fee for airline or other travel-related transactions;

 

   

Other commissions and fees, which are earned on foreign exchange conversions and card-related fees and assessments;

 

32


Table of Contents
   

Other revenue, which represents insurance premiums earned from cardmember travel and other insurance programs, revenues arising from contracts with Global Network Services’ (GNS) partners (including royalties and signing fees), publishing revenues and other miscellaneous revenue and fees; and

 

   

Interest and fees on loans, which principally represents interest income earned on outstanding balances.

In addition to funding and operating costs associated with these types of revenue, other major expense categories are related to marketing and reward programs that add new cardmembers and promote cardmember loyalty and spending, and provisions for cardmember credit and fraud losses.

Financial Targets

The Company seeks to achieve three financial targets, on average and over time:

 

   

Revenues net of interest expense growth of at least 8 percent;

 

   

Earnings per share (EPS) growth of 12 to 15 percent; and

 

   

Return on average equity (ROE) of 25 percent or more.

If the Company achieves its EPS and ROE targets, it will seek to return on average and over time 50 percent of the capital it generates to shareholders as dividends or through the repurchases of common stock, which may be subject to certain regulatory restrictions as described herein.

Forward-Looking Statements and Non-GAAP Measures

Certain of the statements in this Form 10-Q are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Refer to the “Forward-Looking Statements” section below. In addition, certain calculations included within this Form 10-Q constitute non-GAAP financial measures. The Company’s calculations of non-GAAP financial measures may differ from the calculations of similarly titled measures by other companies.

Bank Holding Company

The Company is a bank holding company under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 and the Federal Reserve Board (Federal Reserve) is the Company’s primary federal regulator. As such, the Company is subject to the Federal Reserve’s regulations, policies and minimum capital standards.

Current Economic Environment/Outlook

The Company’s results for the first quarter of 2012 reflected a continuation of the positive business trends evident during the last several quarters. During the quarter cardmember spending volumes grew both in the United States and internationally, and across all of the Company’s businesses, despite comparisons to relatively strong performance in the prior year as well as a challenging global economic environment.

While the positive impacts of strong billings growth, modestly higher cardmember borrowing levels and higher other non-interest revenues were partially offset by significantly lower lending reserve releases this quarter as compared to a year ago, the strong billings growth and well-contained total expense growth provided the Company with the opportunity to invest in the business and also generate strong earnings. The Company continues to focus its investments on both driving near-term metrics and building capabilities that will benefit the medium- to long-term success of the Company.

The Company’s favorable credit trends contributed to stable lending loss rates near all-time lows and a reduction in overall loss reserve levels, although provision expense for the first quarter of 2012 increased in light of the significantly lower lending reserve releases referred to above. Going forward, the Company expects the benefits to its results from reserve releases to diminish.

 

33


Table of Contents

Despite the Company’s continued momentum, competition remains extremely intense across all of its businesses. In addition, the global economic environment remains uncertain. The current instability in Europe in particular, and concerns about sovereign defaults and the creditworthiness and liquidity of the European banking systems, could adversely affect global economic conditions, including potentially negatively affecting consumer and corporate confidence and spending, disrupting the debt and equity markets and impacting foreign exchange rates. European billed business accounted for approximately 11 percent of the Company’s total billed business for the quarter ended March 31, 2012. The Company also received the last litigation settlement payments from MasterCard and Visa in 2011 and continues to face difficult year-over-year comparisons in light of strong 2011 volume and credit performance. Due to these factors, the Company is continuing to implement its plan to grow operating expenses (i.e., expenses other than marketing, promotion, rewards and cardmember services) more slowly than revenues over the next two to three years.

 

34


Table of Contents

American Express Company

Selected Statistical Information

Refer to “Glossary of Selected Terminology” for the definitions of certain key terms and related information appearing in the tables below.

 

                    

Three Months Ended March 31,

       2012       2011  

Card billed business:(billions)

      

United States

     $                 139.6     $                 124.1  

Outside the United States

       71.6       63.8  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

     $                 211.2     $                 187.9  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total cards-in-force:(millions)

      

United States

       50.9       49.4  

Outside the United States

       47.8       43.0  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

       98.7       92.4  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Basic cards-in-force:(millions)

      

United States

       39.6       38.3  

Outside the United States

       38.2       34.4  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

       77.8       72.7  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Average discount rate

       2.53     2.55

Average basic cardmember spending (dollars)(a)

     $                 3,772     $                 3,438  

Average fee per card (dollars)(a)

     $                      38     $                      39  

Average fee per card adjusted (dollars)(a)

     $                      42     $                      42  
                    

 

  (a)

Average basic cardmember spending and average fee per card are computed from proprietary card activities only. Average fee per card is computed based on net card fees, including the amortization of deferred direct acquisition costs divided by average worldwide proprietary cards-in-force. The adjusted average fee per card, which is a non-GAAP measure, is computed in the same manner, but excludes amortization of deferred direct acquisition costs. The amount of amortization excluded was $65 million and $54 million for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively. The Company presents adjusted average fee per card because the Company believes this metric presents a useful indicator of card fee pricing across a range of its proprietary card products.

 

35


Table of Contents

American Express Company

Selected Statistical Information

(continued)

 

                    

As of or for the Three Months Ended March 31,

(Billions, except percentages and where indicated)

       2012       2011  

Worldwide cardmember receivables

      

Total receivables

     $ 41.5     $ 37.7  

Loss reserves (millions)

      

Beginning balance

     $ 438     $ 386  

Provisions(a)

       149       160  

Other additions(b)

       29       38  

Net write-offs(c)

       (182     (132

Other deductions(d)

       (10     (31
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Ending balance

     $ 424     $ 421  
    

 

 

   

 

 

 

% of receivables

       1.0     1.1

Net write-off rate — principal — USCS(e)

       2.3     1.7

Net write-off rate — principal and fees — USCS(e)

       2.5     1.8

30 days past due as a % of total — USCS

       1.9     1.8

Net loss ratio as a % of charge volume — ICS/GCS

       0.11     0.09

90 days past billing as a % of total — ICS/GCS

       0.7     0.8

Worldwide cardmember loans

      

Total loans

     $                 60.1     $                 57.8  

Loss reserves (millions)

      

Beginning balance

     $ 1,874     $ 3,646  

Provisions(a)

       185       (139

Other additions(b)

       27