American Express announced that it will eliminate 5,400 jobs this year and take a $400 million restructuring charge in the fourth quarter.
American Express said it plans to reduce its workforce, currently at 63,500, by 4 to 6 percent by the end of 2013 as it shifts more of its customer service online. Along with a number of other costs, the charges will halve the company's fourth-quarter net income to 56 cents a share.
Excluding these items, American Express earned $1.2 billion, or $1.09 a share, on revenue of $8.1 billion. For the year ago period, net income was $1.2 billion, or $1.01 per share.
Analysts had expected $1.06 a share on revenue $8.12 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
"We've delivered strong results since coming out of the recession and have been consistently gaining share in a very competitive U.S. industry," CEO Kenneth Chenault said in an statement."Restructuring." "Very strong results." Uh-huh. The truth is thinly veiled, Mr. Chenault. Like most of the financial sector, Amex continues to plod along in this "new normal" economy, which appears to currently be in recession.
Oh, and then there's that little coincidence about the recent implementation of Obamacare payroll taxes...