American Express Co. has revised its fourth-quarter profit upward by $68 million because of an accounting error, according to a regulatory filing Friday. The New York-based credit card issuer determined that adjustments were required as a result of a miscalculation related to its fair value hedges. The adjustments resulted in a $108 million reduction to expenses and a 40 percent increase to net income. For the fourth quarter, the company earned $240 million, or 21 cents per share, up from the $172 million, or 15 cents per share, originally reported. For the year, net income rose to $2.70 billion, or $2.33 per share, from $2.63 billion, or $2.27 per share.Canadian economy contracted less than U.S.
The Canadian economy contracted at a 3.4 percent annual pace at the end of 2008, the biggest decline since 1991 but not as steep as the 6.2 percent drop in the United States, the 12.7 percent decline in Japan and the 20.8 percent pullback in South Korea. "The American economy contracted twice as quickly," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in Parliament. "Our economy remains in a position of relative strength."Japan's domestic car sales plummet
Japanese domestic auto sales plunged 32.4 percent in February, the biggest monthly drop since 1974 on sinking demand as the global economic downturn deepened, an industry group said Monday. Japanese consumers bought 218,212 vehicles for the month, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said in a statement. That's the seventh consecutive month of year-on-year declines. The domestic sales figure, which follows a 27.9 percent drop in January, is the latest bad news for Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Japan's other automakers, which have been battered by slumping sales around the world.