Two major credit card providers reported more improvements in delinquency rates in June on Wednesday, an encouraging sign that borrowers are not in as bad shape as many had feared.
American Express Co. said in a regulatory filing that accounts at least 30 days past due shrunk to 4.4 percent of total loans during the month ended June 30, after falling to 4.7 percent in May and 4.9 percent in April.
Capital One Financial Corp., a major credit card issuer based in McLean, Va., said its delinquency rate among U.S. cards improved for a fourth straight month, falling to 4.77 percent from 4.9 percent in May.
Investors cheered the improving delinquency data, sending shares of both companies sharply higher. American Express rose $2.76, or 11.3 percent, to close at $27.22, while Capital One rose $2.73, or 11.8 percent, to $25.84.
Despite the improvement in delinquency rates, both companies reported mixed results on another measure — the percentage of loans they have given up on as unrecoverable, or charge-offs.
American Express' charge-off rate dipped to 9.9 percent in June from 10 percent the previous month, but Capital One's rate rose to 9.73 percent from 9.41 percent.
During recessions and economic downturns, charge-off rates for credit cards often track at similar levels to the overall unemployment rate. The U.S. unemployment rate continued to climb in June, hitting a 26-year high of 9.5 percent.