Citigroup earnings rise, miss expectations

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16 Jan 2019

US banking giant Citigroup says quarterly earnings more than doubled on lower expenses, but results sharply missed expectations due to lower revenues from fixed-income trading and mortgage finance.


Fourth-quarter profits came in at $US2.7 billion ($A3.04 billion) on revenues of $US17.8 billion, up from $US1.2 billion on revenues of $US17.9 billion.

The results translated into per-share earnings of 82 cents, well below the 96 cents forecast by analysts.

“Although we didn’t finish the year as strongly as we would have liked, we made substantial progress towards our key priorities in 2013,” said Citi chief executive Michael Corbat said on Thursday.

Expenses for the quarter came in $US10.5 billion, a big drop from $US12.1 billion a year in the year-ago quarter when Citi took a $US1 billion repositioning charge.

Citi also saw a drop in legal expenses to $US809 million from $US1.3 billion a year ago.

But retail banking revenues in North America tumbled 35 per cent to $US1.1 billion due to lower US mortgage refinancing activity.

Results were also marred by a 15 per cent decline in fixed income trading to $US2.3 billion.

In recent weeks, several Wall Street analysts slashed estimates for Citi on expectations of weaker trading revenue, especially in fixed income.

An RBC Capital Markets December note trimmed its estimates, citing an expected one per cent drop in fixed income and equity trading revenues. But Citi’s results showed revenues in these two segments dropped 11 per cent.

Elsewhere, retail banking reported five per cent average deposit growth and a 10 per cent increase in commercial loans.

Like other large banks, Citi also benefited from better consumer credit quality. The company released $US670 million from loan loss reserves, funds held to cover possible loan defaults.

Citi’s net income for all of 2013 was $US13.9 billion compared with $US7.5 billion in 2012.

Citi shares fell 3.6 per cent in opening trade.

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