Q4 2010 American Express Earnings Conference Call
January 24, 2011 5:00 p.m. ET
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NOTE RELATING TO NON-GAAP FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES
This presentation may contain certain non-GAAP financial disclosures, including information that is reported on a "managed" basis. Managed basis assumes no securitization transactions, i.e., all securitized loans and related income effects are reflected as if they were in the Company's balance sheet and income statement, respectively. Information relating to comparable GAAP financial measures may be found on the relevant slides both attached hereto and located on American Express Company's investor relations website at http://ir.americanexpress.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This presentation includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements, which address the company’s expected business and financial performance, among other matters, contain words such as “believe,” “expect,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “optimistic,” “intend,” “plan,” “aim,” “will,” “may,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “likely,” and similar expressions. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, the following:
- changes in global economic and business conditions, including consumer and business spending, the availability and cost of credit, unemployment and political conditions, all of which may significantly affect spending on the Card, delinquency rates, loan balances and other aspects of our business and results of operations;
- changes in capital and credit market conditions, which may significantly affect the company’s ability to meet its liquidity needs, access to capital and cost of capital, including changes in interest rates; changes in market conditions affecting the valuation of our assets; or any reduction in our credit ratings or those of our subsidiaries, which could materially increase the cost and other terms of our funding, restrict our access to the capital markets or result in contingent payments under contracts;
- litigation, such as class actions or proceedings brought by governmental and regulatory agencies (including the lawsuit filed against the Company by the U.S. Department of Justice and certain state attorneys general), that could result in (i) the imposition of behavioral remedies against the Company or the Company’s voluntarily making certain changes to its business practices, the effects of which in either case could have a material adverse impact on the Company’s financial performance; (ii) the imposition of substantial monetary damages in private actions against the Company; and/or (iii) damage to the Company’s global reputation and brand;
- legal and regulatory developments wherever we do business, including legislative and regulatory reforms in the United States, such as the Dodd-Frank Act’s stricter regulation of large, interconnected financial institutions, changes in requirements relating to securitization and the establishment of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, which could make fundamental changes to many of our business practices or materially affect our capital requirements, results of operations, ability to pay dividends or repurchase our stock; or actions and potential future actions by the FDIC and credit rating agencies applicable to securitization trusts, which could impact the company’s ABS program;
- changes in the substantial and increasing worldwide competition in the payments industry, including competitive pressure that may impact the prices we charge merchants that accept our Cards and the success of marketing, promotion or rewards programs;
- changes in technology or in our ability to protect our intellectual property (such as copyrights, trademarks, patents and controls on access and distribution), and invest in and compete at the leading edge of technological developments across our businesses, including technology and intellectual property of third parties whom we rely on, all of which could materially affect our results of operations;
- data breaches and fraudulent activity, which could damage our brand, increase our costs or have regulatory implications, and changes in regulation affecting privacy and data security under federal, state and foreign law, which could result in higher compliance and technology costs to ourselves or our vendors;
- changes in our ability to attract or retain qualified personnel in the management and operation of the company’s business, including any changes that may result from increasing regulatory supervision of compensation practices;
- changes in the financial condition and creditworthiness of our business partners, such as bankruptcies, restructurings or consolidations, involving merchants that represent a significant portion of our business, such as the airline industry, or our partners in Global Network Services or financial institutions that we rely on for routine funding and liquidity, which could materially affect our financial condition or results of operations;
- uncertainties associated with business acquisitions, including the ability to realize anticipated business retention, growth and cost savings or effectively integrate the acquired business into our existing operations;
- changes affecting the success of our reengineering and other cost control initiatives, which may result in the company not realizing all or a significant portion of the benefits that we intend;
- the actual amount to be spent by the Company on investments in the business, including on marketing, promotion, rewards and cardmember services and certain other operating expenses, which will be based in part on management’s assessment of competitive opportunities and the Company’s performance and the ability to control and manage operating, infrastructure, advertising and promotion expenses as business expands or changes;
- the effectiveness of the company’s risk management policies and procedures, including credit risk relating to consumer debt, liquidity risk in meeting business requirements and operational risks;
- changes affecting our ability to accept or maintain deposits due to market demand or regulatory constraints, such as changes in interest rates and regulatory restrictions on our ability to obtain deposit funding or offer competitive interest rates, which could affect our liquidity position and our ability to fund our business; and
- factors beyond our control such as fire, power loss, disruptions in telecommunications, severe weather conditions, natural disasters, terrorism, “hackers” or fraud, which could affect travel-related spending or disrupt our global network systems and ability to process transactions.
A further description of these uncertainties and other risks can be found in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the three months ended March 31, June 30, and September 30, 2010, and the company’s other reports filed with the SEC.