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Citigroup's Pandit Is 'Cautious' After First Quarter Profit, Stress Test (Update 3)

Updated with management plans to submit capital return request to Fed.

  • Citigroup reported first quarter GAAP earnings per share of 95 cents. Excluding one-off items, earnings per share were $1.11
  • Revenue came in at $19.4 billion, down slightly from the year-ago quarter. Excluding items, revenue was $20.217 billion
  • Analysts were expecting an earnings per share of $1 on revenues of $19.81 billion, according to Thomson Reuters

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Citigroup (C - Get Report) CEO Vikram Pandit said during the first-quarter earnings conference call that the bank may consider resubmitting a request to return capital in June.

Citigroup is still having conversations with the Fed on the process for resubmission. The regulator will likely have 75 days from the time the request is submitted to evaluate the bank, which means Citi will only get a response for its request much later in the year.

Citi was one of four banks that failed to win the Fed's approval to return more capital to shareholders in this year's annual stress tests, as the regulator said it would not meet the minimum capital requirements under a hypothetical severe downturn if it goes ahead with its plans.

Pandit said the bank might have to undergo an entirely new stress test in June, which could means a new set of assumptions by the Fed.

Citi might still opt to simply submit a fresh request in 2013, depending upon the regulator's information on the next steps.

The bank did say that the test will likely be based off March numbers, which is good for Citi as it managed to improve its Basel 1 Tier I capital ratio by another 60 basis points to 12.4%. But management remained cautious, as the scenarios the Fed might consider is still unknown.

More updates on the submission process are expected in the next quarter's conference call.

Until then, investors might take comfort in the fact that Citigroup managed to show an improvement in all of its businesses in the first quarter, although a number of one-off items muddied the profit picture.

Citigroup said first quarter profit benefited from an improved operating environment but was hurt by a number of one-off items, according to earnings released Monday.

Net income came in at $2.93 billion, down 2% from the year-ago quarter and earnings per share was 95 cents. Revenue came in at $19.4 billion, short of estimates for $19.81 billion.

The bottomline included several one-off items that muddied the profit picture, including gains from its stake sales in India's Housing Development Finance Corporation and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, offset by an impairment charge from its partial stake sale in Turkish Bank Akbank, all of which was already disclosed by Citigroup.
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