Citigroup Reports $101M Profit in Latest Quarter

In the last four quarters Citigroup’s actual earnings have been wide-off analysts’ consensus forecast. Particularly in the last quarter, the banking giant surprised the Street by reporting an EPS of $0.49 per share, against the market’s consensus estimate of $ -0.372. Well, Citigroup (NYSE:C) defied again expectations today, as few analysts were expecting the company’s third-quarter results to turn out as well as they did.

The New York-based bank said it earned $101 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, but turned in a loss of $3.2 billion, or 27 cents on a per-share-basis due to one-time items and payment of preferred dividends, which did not affect the firm’s net income but reduced income available to common shareholders by $288 million or $0.02 per share. Last month, Citigroup converted $25 billion of the government’s massive stake in the firm into common shares, giving U.S. taxpayers a 34% stake in the banking giant.

“This was an important quarter for us,” CEO Vikram Pandit said in a release. “The completion of the exchange offers and the significant actions taken during the last few quarters have created a strong foundation. With strong capital, strong liquidity and a strong franchise, we are looking forward. We continue to execute steadily against our plan, and sustainable profitability remains our primary goal in the near term. While consumer credit trends are improving in international markets, the U.S. consumer credit environment remains challenging.”

The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters (NYSE:TRI) on Citi was for a loss of $3.4 billion, or 38 cents a share in the third-quarter.

The results  also showed the co. posted $8 billion in credit losses while adding another $802 million to its net loan loss reserves. Although credit losses remained elevated, they were down from $8.4 billion in the prior quarter.

Citi also said its revenue increased about 25%, to $20.4 billion from $16.25 billion. Deposits were $833 billion, up $28 billion from the second quarter of 2009. Still, the company said Citi Holdings assets declined $32 billion to $617 billion during the quarter and are now down $281 billion from peak levels in the first quarter 2008. Citicorp, its so-called good bank, saw both revenue and income fell during the quarter.

Citigroup shares, which have lost a quarter of their value since the start of the year, are currently down 25 cents, or -5%, to $4.75 in NYSE trading.

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