History, nature of business, expansion, place in financial services industry, management, outlook and potential problems. Financial analysis. 3 charts.
“One of America’s oldest corporations, American Express has changed its mission, vision and corporate strategy many times over its 150 year history. Formed originally as a freight forwarder by Wells and Fargo (along with other partners), the company has since become notable for its participation in the stored value marketplace. Examples of this are traveler’s checks, which the consumer pays for at the time of purchase and which “store” the value of purchase until they are used. American Express is now recognized as a charge card company as well as a travel services company. During the 1980s and 1990s the company went through a series of changes in strategy which were eventually completely undone, and the company is now refocusing its operations on its core business units.”