NEW YORK (AP) _ American Express reported a 14 percent jump in profits for the first quarter as the booming economy helped spur demand for the company's charge cards, financial and travel services.

American Express earned $656 million, or $1.44 a share, beating analysts' estimates by 2 cents a share, according to a survey by First Call/Thomson Financial. In the first quarter last year, the company earned $575 million, or $1.26 a share.

Revenues totaled $5.26 billion, up 16 percent from $4.52 billion in the year-ago period.

The company's travel services business reported strong profits of $416 million, up 15 percent from $363 million in the first quarter a year ago.

American Express' financial advisory unit pulled in profits of $245 million, up 15 percent from $214 million a year ago. The company attributed the gain to strong sales of mutual funds, annuities and insurance products.

Results were flat at the company's banking and travelers check division.

Investors reacted to the results by bidding up AmEx shares by $4.93 3/4 to $147.93 3/4 in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.