Bank of America (BAC), for example, calls its massive multistep cost cutting program "Project New BAC," and the expected savings are a big part of the increase in earnings that analysts expect the company to realize in 2014. Analysts on average expect Bank of America to earn 97 cents a share in 2013, increasing to $1.27 in 2014. This is by far the largest estimated percentage increase for any of the "big four" U.S. banks.
Schorr said that "while Citi takes heat for not having a named cost save program similar to many peers, we'd note that a) Citi's efficiency saves for the past two years as a percentage of total expenses are actually in line to better than many of the named programs out there, b) Citi actually has a better efficiency ratio than many peers, and c) Citi actually has some growth elements to the story that maybe make operating leverage a better lens to judge by rather than the "stubborn" $48bn-$50bn of expenses the company continues to manage to," on an annual basis.
The efficiency ratio is, essentially, the number of pennies of overhead expenses a bank incurs for each dollar of revenue. Citigroup's third-quarter tax-adjusted efficiency ratio was 73.94, according to Thomson Reuters Bank Insight, while Bank of America's efficiency ratio was 81.32. Then again, JPMorgan Chase's (JPM) efficiency ratio was a much lower 60.44, and Wells Fargo (WFC) had an even better efficiency ratio of 57.55.
Schorr rates Citigroup a "Buy," with a $41 price target, and he trails the consensus, estimating that the company will earn $4.50 a share in 2013.C data by YCharts
Interested in more on Citigroup? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.
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