American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) announced its earnings for the first quarter of 2013 today Wednesday April 17 after the market closed. For the first three months of the year the credit card company showed earnings per share of $1.15 on revenues of $7.88 billion. On today’s market, shares in American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) trended down, closing at $64.13, down 0.71%.

american express logo

Analysts were looking for earnings per share of $1.13 for the first quarter of 2013, on revenues of $8 billion. In the same three months of 2012, the company earned $1.07 per share on revenue of $7.6 billion. The company’s January earnings report surprised investors, with earnings coming in a cent higher than consensus.

In the hours leading up to the release of the official earnings report, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) whisper numbers suggested that the firm would earn $1.12 per share, a couple of cents over analyst estimates. The firm’s stock followed the general trend of the market today however, despite the expectation of strong earnings.

So far in 2013, American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) shares have risen by more than 11.5 percent. The company has benefited from a booming stock market, and good performance of the credit card sector. Investors seem confident that credit cards will be one of the first sectors to pick up with the economy, and that theory has been verified in past earnings reports.

American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) has also been known to innovate in the credit card sector, and the company is very popular among customers because of the deals and rewards it offers to loyal customers. Recently, the company partnered with Twitter to allow customers to make purchases by tweeting with a specific hashtag.

Major competitors in the credit card market are Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) and Visa Inc (NYSE:V) Both firms have performed strongly in recent quarters, tracking the progress made by American Express Company (NYSE:AXP). American consumers are heading back toward credit cards after a huge drop off during the financial crisis.

American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) doesn’t seem to be about intense competition right now, instead it’s about expanding into a growing global market for credit. There will be minor blips along the way, but as long as American Express continues to reward its customers, and doesn’t make any missteps, performance should align closely with the growth of the global economy.