Citigroup income misses forecasts

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Citigroup Reuters. People exit a Citibank branch in New York.

Citigroup’s fourth-quarter profit missed Wall Street estimates as bond trading slumped, the third-biggest US bank reported yesterday.

The stock of the bank fell more than 2.5 percent in early New York trading.

Net income more than doubled to $2.69 billion (R29.3bn) from $1.2bn a year earlier, when Citigroup reported a $653 million charge, and earnings a share rose to 85c from 38c, it said in a statement.

Excluding accounting charges and special items, adjusted profit was 82c a share. The average estimate of 26 analysts in a survey was 95c.

Chief executive Michael Corbat sought to cut costs and boost revenue even as trading from bond and foreign exchange markets came under pressure. The effort was marred by a 15 percent drop in fixed-income revenue excluding accounting charges.

Adjusted profit decreased 8 percent at the securities and banking unit and 16 percent for global consumer banking, according to the bank.

Citigroup shares gained 32 percent in New York trading last year, trailing the 35 percent return for the 24-company KBW bank index.

Quarterly revenue excluding an accounting charge tied to the value of the firm’s own debt and other items declined 2 percent to $17.9bn.

For the full year, net income rose 84 percent to $13.9bn on a 10 percent increase in revenue to $76.4bn.

Citigroup set aside $1.4bn for litigation and legal costs during the first nine months of last year, according to regulatory filings.

That compared with $11.1bn at JPMorgan Chase and $4.8bn at Bank of America. Figures on legal costs for the final quarter are not yet out. – Bloomberg

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