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NEW YORK (
Citigroup(C - Get Report) was upgraded to outperform from underperform Wednesday by CLSA analyst Mike Mayo, a longtime critic of the bank.
Citing the ouster of CEO Vikram Pandit Tuesday, Mayo wrote that the change "seems to reflect a more proactive board and can improve poor governance."
Mayo added that the bank should be approved to raise its dividend soon after having been rejected by regulators in a recent attempt. The change "can only help mend the credibility gap, at least with regulators," Mayo wrote.
Mayo looks forward to a three year restructuring plan, "akin to actions taken by [Chairman Michael O'Neill--former chief of <b>Bank of Hawaii</b> <span class=" TICKERFLAT">(<a href="/quote/BOH.html">BOH</a> - <a href="http://secure2.thestreet.com/cap/prm.do?OID=028198&ticker=BOH">Get Report</a><a class=" arrow" href="/quote/BOH.html"><span class=" tickerChange" id="story_BOH"></span></a>)</span>] in his past jobs." He sees Citigroup shares as worth $52 on a "sum of the parts" basis, though arguing the sum of the parts is worth less than the whole, his price target is a more modest $43--up from $31. Citigroup shares were up nearly 2% in early trades Wednesday to $37.85
Written by Dan Freed in New York.