American Express to slash 5,400 jobs

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NEW YORK American Express (AXP) says it will cut an estimated 5,400 jobs, mainly in its travel business, and book a $287 million charge.

As a result, the credit card company projects that it will report a decline in adjusted net income from a year ago.

The company announced the expected layoff in disclosing its fourth-quarter earnings after stock markets closed on Thursday.

On Thursday American Express said its fourth-quarter net income will amount to $637 million or 56 cents per share, reflecting charges for restructuring, Membership Rewards expenses and cardmember reimbursements. Excluding one-time items, the company expects earnings of $1.2 billion or $1.09 per share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected $1.06 per share.

American Express said the job cuts will take place at all levels of the company, with the largest reductions coming in the company's travel business. American Express said in a statement that the unit has been buffeted by what the company called a "digital revolution."

"Against the backdrop of an uneven economic recovery, these restructuring initiatives are designed to make American Express more nimble, more efficient and more effective in using our resources to drive growth," American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault said in a news release. "For the next two years, our aim is to hold annual operating expense increases to less than 3 percent."