“This company can weather a huge hurricane and come out fine,” says Vitaliy Katsenelson, head of research at Investment Management Associates in Denver. “American Express is one the simplest financial companies to analyze. It’s much more transparent than Citigroup or JPMorgan or Goldman Sachs.
He argues that the government safety net removes a key risk with AmEx: funding. AmEx has relied on commercial paper and on securitization of credit-card loans, two markets that are difficult now to access. AmEx says it’s comfortable about its ability to refinance some $24 billion in debt maturing in the next year.