Why Citigroup Earnings Haven’t Fired Up Investors

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Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) reported second-quarter 2017 results before markets opened Friday. The global bank reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.28 on revenue of $17.9 billion. In the same period a year ago, the bank reported diluted EPS of $1.24 on revenue of $17.5 billion. Second-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $1.21 on revenue of $17.37 billion.

At Thursday’s closing price of $67.02 per share, the stock trades at a discount of about 15% to a book value per share of $77.36.

Revenues at Citi rose 2% year over year and dipped 1% sequentially. The year-over-year rise was attributed to an increase of 6% in the bank’s institutional clients group and a 5% revenue boost in its global consumer banking group.

Net income totaled $3.87 billion, down 3% compared with second-quarter 2016 net income of $4 billion. The bank attributed the decrease to a higher cost of credit, higher operating expenses and a higher effective tax rate.

Expenses rose 5% in both the consumer banking and institutional clients group, to $4.5 billion and $5.0 billion, respectively.

The bank’s allowance for loan losses totaled $12 billion at the end of the quarter, down from $12.3 billion in the prior year quarter. Citi’s cost of credit jumped 22% year over year, driven by an increase in net credit losses of $94 million and a net loan loss reserve release of $16 million.

Bank CEO Michael Corbat said:

The $3.9 billion of net income helped generate additional regulatory capital. Our Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio grew to 13.0%, well above the 11.5% we believe we need to prudently operate the firm. Our recently announced 2017 capital plan includes a return of $18.9 billion enabling us to reduce the amount of capital we hold. We are clearly on course to increase both the return on capital and return of capital for our shareholders

The bank did not offer guidance in its press release, but the consensus estimates call for third-quarter EPS of $1.30 on revenues of $17.72 billion. The EPS estimate for the 2017 fiscal year is $5.19 on revenues of $70.92 billion.

Shares traded down less than 0.1% at $67.00 in the premarket this morning, having closed on Thursday at $67.02. The current 52-week range is $42.50 to $68.91. The consensus 12-month price target on the stock was $68.64 before results were announced.