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A Citibank sign hangs above a branch office in New York. (Mark Lennihan/AP)
A Citibank sign hangs above a branch office in New York. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Citigroup profit falls 3 per cent as expenses rise, trading dips Add to ...

Citigroup Inc reported a quarterly profit that beat analysts’ estimates as trading revenue held up better than the company’s forecast and loans grew.

The lender said markets revenue declined about 7 per cent in the second quarter from a year earlier, smaller than the 12 per cent drop Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach had projected at a conference two weeks before the end of the quarter.

Client trading surged a year earlier around UK’s Brexit vote.

The fourth-biggest U.S. bank by assets said on Friday net income fell 3.2 per cent to $3.87-billion in the second quarter ended June 30.

Earnings per share was $1.28, topping analysts’ average estimate of $1.21, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

JPMorgan Chase & Co, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, also reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profit earlier on Friday, helped by higher interest rates and loan growth that cushioned a decline in trading.

Citigroup’s total revenue rose 2 per cent to $17.90-billion and beat estimates of $17.37-billion.

Fixed-income trading revenue fell 6 per cent, while equity trading revenue dropped 11 per cent.

Loans at the end of the period were up about 2 per cent from a year earlier, as well from the end of March, indicating a new momentum for lending.

Operating expenses rose 1.3 per cent to $10.51-billion. But the ratio of expenses to revenue remained at 59 per cent.

Tangible book value per share increased 6 per cent to $67.32.

Citigroup’s shares were nearly flat in premarket trading. Up to Thursday’s close, the stock had gained 12.8 per cent this year.

The shares have climbed toward their tangible book value since mid-April largely in anticipation of the company being allowed by the Federal Reserve to use excess capital to buy back stock.

Citigroup got the go-ahead on June to repurchase up to $15.6-billion of common stock over the next year – nearly twice as much as the year before – as well as double its quarterly dividend to 32 cents per share, bringing total payouts to $18.9-billion for the period.

Wells Fargo & Co, the third-biggest U.S. bank by assets, also reported on Friday.

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