Citigroup earnings beat expectations amid buybacks, but revenues fall

Citigroup reports mixed first-quarter results, with its earnings topping expectations while its overall revenue missing. Read more...

Citigroup reported mixed first-quarter results on Monday, saying its earnings were boosted by share buybacks while revenues fell amid a sharp decline in equities trading.

Here’s how the company’s results measured up to analyst forecasts:

  • Earnings: $1.87 per share vs $1.80 expected by Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $18.576 billion vs $18.634 billion forecast
  • Fixed-income, currencies and commodities trading revenue: $3.452 billion vs $3.05 billion expected by StreetAccount
  • Equities trading: $842 million vs $930 million
  • Investment banking revenue: $1.354 billion vs $1.2 billion forecast

The bank repurchased $4.06 billion in shares in the first quarter and returned $1.08 billion to shareholders through common-stock dividends.

“Our earnings reflect the progress we are making to improve our return on and return of capital,” CEO Michael Corbat said in a release. “We remain committed to executing our strategy and continuing to make steady progress towards our financial targets.”

Citigroup’s earnings for the quarter were 11% higher on a year-over-year basis. However, the company’s overall revenue fell 2% following a sharp slowdown in its equity trading business.

Equity-trading revenue fell 24% in the first quarter. Citigroup said the drop reflected “lower market volumes and client financing balances.” The sharp decline was partially offset by a 20% revenue surge in investment banking revenue.

Citigroup shares rose 0.4% in the premarket after the banking giant released its results.

Also Monday, Goldman Sachs reported first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates but revenue dropped 13%.

Citigroup shares have been on fire this year, rallying nearly 30% in that time period. The stock is also outperforming peers like J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America.

On Thursday, Citi announced the retirement of President Jamie Forese, who was considered a potential successor to Corbat.

J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo both reported quarterly earnings on Friday that topped analyst expectations.

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