Saturday, April 18, 2015

Citi posts solid first quarter earnings, surprises 9%

Citigroup reported first quarter earnings on April 16th, 2015. Earnings per share came in at $1.52 per, above consensus estimates of $1.39 per share. Revenue for the quarter was $19.8 billion, down 2% year over year and missing street estimates of $20 billion.

Lower revenues in Citi’s Corporate/Other, Institutional Clients Group, and Global Consumer Banking were offset by lower operating expenses. Operating expenses for the quarter were $10.9 billion, down nearly 10% year over year. The decline in expenses was driven mainly by cost reduction efforts, reduced legal and related costs and repositioning charges. However, the firm experienced higher regulatory and compliance costs.

The trend of improving credit quality continued into first quarter. Total allowance for loan losses was $14.6 billion (2.38% of total loans) down 2.87% year over year. Loans and deposits decreased 6% and 7% year over year to 621 billion and 899 billion respectively.

Overall, a positive first quarter performance for Citi. Although missing revenue, EPS beat by a significant amount. Continued expense management will continue to benefit Citi in the tough interest rate environment. Citi traded up around 2.5% after earnings were released but those gains were completely offset after poor market performance on Friday. The stock closed the week at $53.07.

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