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Citigroup posts better-than-expected results; profits up 4%

The bank did well during the first quarter, despite falling revenues, regulatory woes and fraud investigations of its Mexican unit.
By Ananth Baliga   |   April 14, 2014 at 11:32 AM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, April 14 (UPI) -- Citigroup reported an unexpected profit and beat analysts' estimates despite failing the Fed's recent stress test and dealing with investigations at its Mexican unit.

The company said first-quarter profits rose around 4 percent to $4.1 billion, up from the $3.81 billion from the first quarter last year, or an earnings per share of $1.30. Financial analysts polled by Bloomberg News had been expecting earnings per share of about $1.13.

“Despite a quarter that was difficult for our company, we delivered strong results,” Michael Corbat, Citigroup’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Both our consumer and institutional businesses performed well and we grew both loans and deposits while holding the line on our expenses.”

The profits numbers have been adjusted for one-time events, such as adjustments to debt values and tax charges. Despite the strong profit numbers, revenues fell 2 percent to $20.1 billion, but were still higher that initial estimates of $19.4 billion for the quarter.

The company has done well globally, but has found an additional case of fraud in its Mexican unit. Citigroup said it has found issues with its accounts receivable program relating to a spiller for Mexican oil monopoly Pemex.

John Gerspach, the bank's chief financial officer, said that the fraud involved less than $30 million in costs to the bank and refused to disclose the name of the supplier. He added that the supplier was in the process of paying back the bank and expected "full restitution."

[MarketWatch]
[The New York Times]

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