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American Express warns COVID-19 will impact Q1 earnings, revenue

American Express said its first-quarter revenue and earnings would be impacted by softness in customer spending due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The corporate and consumer charge card provider said that while January and February spending levels were robust, it has started to see softness in spending levels the last few days in February and into March and more widespread around the world. 

American Express officials now expect first-quarter revenue growth of 2% to 4% on an FX-adjusted basis and earnings per share of $1.90 to $2.10, including reserve builds. 

"American Express has a long runway to deliver strong long-term performance, driven by our differentiated business model and our focus on strategic imperatives," Steven Squeri, chairman and CEO of American Express, said in a company release. "We have a long track record of navigating through uncertain periods by focusing on our disciplined operational and strategic execution, our dedicated colleagues and the deep relations with our customers and partners."

The company said it is unable to provide any additional guidance beyond the quarter and will update investors during a first-quarter earnings call in April. 

Cover image: American Express