American Express Co. reported a 79% drop in fourth-quarter net income amid restructuring charges and as loan delinquencies and writeoffs rose, though the company's provision for loan losses was smaller than in the prior year.

"Our fourth-quarter results reflect an operating environment that was among the harshest we have seen in decades," Chief Executive Kenneth I. Chenault said in a statement. He noted overall card-member spending fell 10% year over year, or 5% excluding the impact of foreign-exchange rates.

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