Banking stock to watch: Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C)

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Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C) managed to keep costs lower, recorded a large gain from an asset sale and had a smaller-than-expected decline in trading revenue. The group’s investment bank was the main driver of the bank’s profit growth in the third quarter, despite a drop in bond trading revenue. Citi’s institutional client group, which contains its trading desks and investment bank, had net income of $3.04 billion compared with $2.64 billion in the same period a year earlier.  The bond trading was down 16 percent, stock trading was up 16 percent and security services were up 12 percent in the third quarter. Further, major Wall Street banks have experienced a steady decline in market trading activity, which was boosted last year on higher global macroeconomic uncertainty, especially around Brexit and the U.S. presidential election. Overall in the third quarter, the net income rose to $4.13 billion from $3.84 billion a year earlier.

The group has reported the adjusted earnings per share of $1.42 in the third quarter of FY 17, beating the analysts’ estimates for the adjusted earnings per share of $1.32 according to Thomson Reuters. The results included a $355 million gain, which is worth 13 cents a share, from the previously disclosed sale of a fixed income market analytics and index business. The company had reported the adjusted revenue growth of 2 percent to $18.17 billion in the third quarter of FY 17, beating the analysts’ estimates for revenue of $17.76 billion.

Moreover, the investment banking revenue was $4.6 billion in the quarter, which is a growth of 16 percent from a year earlier. The bank saw more underwriting of stock and bond offerings by companies as well as more fees for advisory services. Citi’s consumer banking division has reported a 6 percent fall in profits in the third quarter, to $1.17 billion, as the bank incurred higher credit costs. The bank had to set aside more money to cover bad loans like in the bank’s credit card division.

The group stock has risen 53% in the last one year (source: Google Finance).

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