Monthly portfolio reports from American Express Co. and Discover Financial Services, the two major stand-alone credit card issuers, showed continued deterioration in credit quality.
The chargeoff rate in Amex's securitization trust rose 102 basis points in February from the previous month, to 9.31%, and delinquencies grew 11 basis points, to 5.4%. The chargeoff rate for Discover went up 59 basis points, to 7.15%, and delinquencies increased 23 basis points, to 5.52%.
Excess spread, or the amount by which income in the trust exceeds costs, grew 26 basis points at Discover, to 8.38%, and portfolio yield rose 89 basis points, to 18%, according to KBW Inc.'s Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. At Amex, excess spread fell 61 basis points, to 6.67%, and portfolio yield increased 116 basis points, to 19.74%.
Amex also reported numbers on a managed basis, which includes both securitized and balance sheet receivables. On this basis, the chargeoff rate was up 50 basis points, to 8.6%, and the delinquency rate was up 20 basis points, to 5.3%.
In notes to clients Monday, Sanjay Sakhrani, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette, wrote that the delinquency trends were worse than he expected at both companies.
The chargeoff trend at Discover was better than his expectation but "in-line to worse" at Amex.
Sakhrani estimated that about 35 basis points of the increase in the chargeoff rate in Amex's trust could be explained by a 4% decline in receivables, to $37.2 billion.
Also in a Monday note to clients, John Williams, an analyst at Macquarie Group, wrote that Discover "has not shown the same degree of accelerating deterioration we have seen in competitors' portfolios. That said, losses are still losses, and we expect further challenges as unemployment ticks up and the U.S. consumer continues to struggle."