Were Citigroup Q1 Earnings Good Enough?

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Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) released its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened Friday. The company said that it had $1.68 in earnings per share (EPS) on $18.87 billion in revenue, versus consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $1.61 in EPS on revenue of $18.86 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.35 and $18.12 billion in revenue.

During the quarter, revenues increased 3% from the prior-year period, driven by growth in both the Institutional Clients Group (ICG) and Global Consumer Banking (GCB), partially offset by lower revenues in Corporate/Other, primarily due to the continued wind-down of legacy assets. Net income of $4.6 billion increased 13%, driven by the higher revenues and a lower effective tax rate, partially offset by higher expenses and cost of credit.

In terms of its segments, the firm reported:

  • Global Consumer Banking had a 7% increase year over year to $8.43 billion.
  • Institutional Clients Group increased 6% to $9.85 billion.
  • Corporate/Other decreased 51% to $591 million.

Tangible book value per share was $61.02, still making this stock the cheapest of the major banks in terms of book value to price.

No guidance was issued in the report. However, consensus estimates call for $1.60 in EPS on $18.64 billion in revenue for the current quarter.

CEO Michael Corbat commented:

Our first quarter results demonstrate strength and balance across our franchise and position us well for the rest of the year. We grew revenue across both our institutional and consumer businesses and delivered solid, client-led revenue gains in areas we have been investing in such as Citibanamex, TTS, Equities and the Private Bank. In addition to improving Citi’s return on capital, we maintained our focus on also improving Citi’s return of capital. During the quarter, we returned more than $3 billion in capital to common shareholders which helped drive a significant improvement in earnings per share. And we recently submitted our capital plan and believe we remain on track to meet the commitment we outlined at investor day of returning at least $60 billion over the 2017, 2018 and 2019 cycles, subject to regulatory approval.

Shares of Citigroup closed Thursday at $72.13, with a consensus analyst price target of $83.89 and a 52-week range of $56.55 to $80.70, Following the announcement, the stock was up less than 2% at $73.44 in early trading indications Friday.