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Citigroup reports $2.9 billion 1Q profit

Citigroup (C) reported first-quarter earnings of $2.93 billion, or 95 cents a share, down 2% from a year earlier when it earned $2.99 billion, or 99 cents a share.

Analysts expected the New York-based bank to earn $1.01 a share, according to Zack’s Investment Research.

Citigroup reported $19.41 billion in revenue for the quarter, down 2% from the same period a year ago when revenue totaled $19.73 billion.

First-quarter loans grew 12% to $514 billion from $457 billion a year earlier, with growth across all regions. Consumer loans grew 6% to $286 billion and corporate loans grew 23% to $228 billion, both from the first quarter of 2011.

“Global consumer banking, our largest business, produced another quarter of good growth in revenues, net income and key drivers like loans and deposits,” Chief Executive Vikram Pandit said. Global consumer banking revenue rose 5% in the quarter.

Citigroup’s total allowance for loan losses was $29 billion at quarter end, or 4.5% of total loans, down from $36.6 billion, or 5.8%, in the year-ago period. The bank’s net release of credit reserves in the quarter fell 65% to $1.2 billion from a year earlier.

Credit reserve releases in Citicorp of $588 million and in Citi Holdings of $576 million were 67% and 63% lower, respectively, than the first quarter of 2011. Citicorp’s decline in credit reserve releases reflected lower releases in North America global consumer banking and a net credit reserve build primarily in international global consumber banking (Asia, Latin America and EMEA) and securities and banking.

The decline in Citi Holdings credit reserve releases was a result of the special asset pool, where credit reserve releases totaled $55 million, versus $980 million in the first quarter of 2011.

“We continued to wind down our Citi Holdings legacy portfolio, which now stands at 11% of our total assets, while further building capital," Pandit said.

Citigroup has a Tier 1 common ratio of 12.4% under Basel I and an estimated Tier 1 common ratio of 7.2% under Basel III.







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