Citigroup (C - Get Report) trades at a lower valuation than any other U.S bank to its consensus 2015 earnings estimate. The shares closed at $53 Friday, returning 34% this year, following a 51% return during 2012. Citi trades for 8.6 times the 2015 EPS estimate of $6.15. The consensus 2014 EPS estimate is $5.57.
It isn't a surprise to see Citigroup at the top of this list, considering the drag on stock valuations for "too big to fail" banks, in the continually uncertain political and regulatory environment. But there's no denying that the company has made quite a bit of progress in its strategy of selling off or winding down non-core assets, in order to boost its capital strength and trim expenses.Citigroup on July 15 reported second-quarter earnings of $4.2 billion, or $1.34 a share, increasing from $3.8 billion, or $1.23 a share, in the first quarter, and $2.9 billion, or 95 cents a share, during the second quarter of 2012. Excluding credit valuation adjustments (CVA) and debit valuation adjustments (DVA), earnings were $3.9 billion, or $1.25 a share, declining from $4.0 billion, or $1.29 a share the previous quarter. Operating earnings were up 25% from $3.1 billion, or $1.00 a share, during the second quarter of 2012, excluding CVA/DVA and also excluding a loss during the second quarter of 2012 tied to the sale of the company's stake in Akbank. Again excluding CVA/DVA, Citi's total second-quarter revenue was $20.0 billion, up 8% year-over-year. Atlantic Equities analyst Richard Staite in a note following the earnings release wrote, "The results compared favorably against JPM with