American Express Company released its net income of $1.3 billion in first quarter of 2012 , up from $1.2 billion in 2001. AmEx announced an earnings per share (EPS) of $1.07 that were up 10% from 2011, according to the biweekly Forbes. Fox Business quoted bank CEO Kenneth Chenault as saying that "Higher card member spending, excellent credit metrics and disciplined expense management helped us to start 2012 with record first-quarter earnings and revenues." American Express, Visa Card and Master Card companies are the top 3 credit card issuers in the United States. Unlike Visa and Master Cards companies who serve as mediators in running transactions between customers, AmEx issue their own cards, authorize purchases and settle both with consumers and merchants.