American Express reports strong Q2 profits, revenue but prepares for possible defaults 

American Express saw its profit and revenue climb in the second quarter and credit card use rising, but the company’s stock slipped before the market opened today as it set aside more money for possible defaults on payments, the Associated Press reports.

The card issuer earned $2.17 billion, or $2.89 per share, topping Wall Street expectations for $2.80. A year earlier the company earned $1.96 billion, or $2.57 per share.

Total provisions for credit losses were $1.2 billion. In the prior-year period it was $410 million, the New York company said, citing higher net write-offs and a net reserve build of $327 million, compared with a net reserve build of $58 million a year ago.

Shares fell nearly 4% before the market opened Friday.

Revenue, net of interest expense, climbed to $15.05 billion from $13.4 billion, mostly due to higher average loan volumes and increased card member spending. That was short of Wall Street projections for $15.42 billion.

Card member spending rose 8%, on a constant currency basis, driven by double-digit growth in U.S. consumer and international card member spending.

Millennial and Gen Z consumers made up more than 60% of new accounts acquired worldwide. Their spending increased 21% in the U.S. from a year earlier.

American Express Co. maintained its full-year forecast for earnings of $11 to $11.40 per share and revenue growth of 15% to 17%.