Shares of Citigroup are down 18% in the past month, with year-to-date returns hovering around 3%.
Citi has not fully recovered from the Fed's rejection of its capital return plans, which placed it squarely in the "weak bank" camp.While the bank has said it may re-submit its plan to the regulator this June, it is still trying to understand the Fed's stress test models. The bank may choose to delay its request to 2013, which would give it more time to build more capital and thereby stand a better chance of winning the Fed's approval. Shareholders are certainly not pleased with the bank, with most voting down the $15 million pay package to CEO Vikram Pandit. Still, analysts remain positive on the stock, following a strong first quarter performance that showed improvement across businesses. Even long-term bear Meredith Whitney upgraded the stock to a hold rating from underperform. Coincident with 1Q12 earnings, we are upgrading C shares to HOLD from UNDERPERFORM, as improving operating metrics and a still historically low valuation temper the probability of a significant absolute share price decline," Whitney wrote in a report. The analyst expects Citi to handily make its capital target of over 8% by the end of 2012. She also highlighted expense control as the single largest question for Citi's investors, and a "necessary precondition" of Citi reaching its 1.25-1.50% return on asset target. 19 analysts rate the stock a buy, five analysts maintain it at hold and four have an underperform or sell rating.
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