Updated with market close information, revised return and price ratios, and comments from Evercore Partners analyst Andrew Marquardt and Credit Agricole analyst Mike Mayo.
The company on Wednesday announced a series of moves meant to cut its annual expenses by $900 million in 2013, with total expense savings increasing to $1.1 billion in 2014.
Citigroup's shares rose over 6% to close at $36.46.The company is looking for the expense cuts to have a very a healthy effect on its bottom line, as the company "expects the repositioning actions to have a negative impact on annual revenues of less than $300 million." In an effort to focus "on the 150 cities that have the highest growth potential in consumer banking," Citi said it would close a total of 84 branch offices, including 44 in the United States, as offices in Brazil, Hong Kong, Hungary, and South Korea. The company said that its actions "will result in a reduction of more than 11,000 positions," including 6,200 in the Global Consumer Banking segment, 1,900 in the Institutional Clients Group, and 350 in Citi Holdings, which is the subsidiary into which Citigroup has placed noncore assets, as part of former CEO Vikram Pandit's "good bank/bad bank" strategy to right-size the company's balance sheet. "In addition to the reductions in Operations & Technology positions that support the ICG and GCB businesses, these actions will result in the reduction of approximately 2,300 positions that support corporate services, real estate, and Citi Holdings," Citigroup said. Michael Corbat replaced Pandit as Citigroup's CEO in October, after serving as the company's CEO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and having previously served as the head of Citi Holdings. Several analysts commented at that time that the change at the top could mean that the company would take more aggressive actions to wind-down Citi Holdings, cut expenses and free-up cash for an increased capital return to investors. The cuts will result in fourth-quarter charges totaling $1 billion, with an additional $100 million in charges to be recorded during the first half of 2013. Corbat said that the "actions are logical next steps in Citi's transformation," as the company has "identified areas and products where our scale does not provide for meaningful returns. And we will further increase our operating efficiency by reducing excess capacity and expenses, whether they center on technology, real estate or simplifying our operations."
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