Mayo, a noted bear who has had a history of tangling with Citigroup management, did not respond to emailed questions, other than to state that his Oct. 17 upgrade of Citigroup shares to "outperform," was the first time he had recommended the stock since downgrading it from what he called "the equivalent of buy" to "sell" on Oct. 17, 2007.
Via email, a Citigroup spokesman wrote that Gerspach "was asked specifically whether he had read equity analysis calling for the break-up of Citi," adding that the CFO has indeed read Mayo's note, "which does not call for the break-up of Citi."
Mayo's report states Citigroup's new strategy following the appointment of CEO Michael Corbat "could include more aggressive restructuring." He argues Citigroup's "sum-of-the-parts" valuation is $52, and that "even with a conglomerate discount, the stock seems to have upside of 19% to $43."
Citigroup shares closed Thursday at $37.41, up from $36.66 at the time of Mayo's upgrade.-- Written by Dan Freed in New York. Follow @dan_freed