Citigroup Inc. profit up to $3.94B in first quarter

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – Citigroup Inc. reported higher profit in the first quarter from a year ago, beating analysts’ estimates, even as the bank posted slightly lower revenue.

Profit was $3.94bn, higher than $3.81bn profit in the first quarter of 2013, according to the lender. Per-share earnings, which include the payment of preferred dividends, were flat at $1.23. Excluding special items and accounting adjustments, earnings climbed to $1.30 from $1.29.

Revenue fell to $20.12bn, according to Citigroup. Analysts recently forecast per-share earnings of $1.14 on $19.37bn revenue.

Monday’s earnings report comes as Chief Executive Michael Corbat has been facing a slew of problems. Citigroup failed to get the approval of the U.S. Federal Reserve last month to pay investors with higher dividends and stock buybacks, a decision that surprised the bank’s executives.

The Fed’s rejection also made it difficult for Citigroup to meet its 2015 goal for return on tangible common equity. The move came following disclosure by Citigroup of a potential fraud at its Mexico unit that prompted the bank to restate its results for last year.

Citigroup has struggled with weak trading revenue, with Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach issuing a warning last month that the company’s markets revenue would decline in the first quarter by “a high mid-teens percentage” from the same period in 2013.

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