Story updated with closing prices and additional analyst commentary throughout.
Taking a closer look at the numbers, while fourth-quarter earnings fell, the outlook for Citigroup's ongoing business did not dim and it remains well positioned for future growth, analysts say.
|Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit|
Citigroup's fourth quarter earnings miss was largely due to a $163 million loss at its investment bank, which suffered with the rest of Wall Street in late 2011. "The main driver of the miss seemed to be in Securities and Banking, which generated weak revenues and higher than expected operating expenses," wrote UBS analysts in a research note. However, UBS maintained its "Buy" rating and $43 a share price target for Citigroup because of its low valuation and focus on risk reductions, which includes its CitiHoldings bad bank. "Citi has made solid strides in improving risk management, including winding down Citi Holdings," wrote UBS.Citigroup CFO John Gerspach said as much, noting that the investment banking fall was a due to risk reductions and weak December capital markets activity. "In light of the macro environment, we reduced risk," said Gerspach in a media call. "
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