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Citi Beats Estimates

It cites strong international revenue growth.
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Citi (C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report said its first-quarter fell from a year ago but beat Wall Street's targets, led by 18% revenue growth internationally.

The New York-based bank made $5 billion, or $1.01 a share, for the quarter ended March 31, down from the year-ago $5.56 billion, or $1.11 a share. Excluding a charge related to last week's plan to cut 17,000 jobs, Citi made $1.18 a share, well above the $1.09-a-share Thomson Financial analyst consensus estimate.

"We generated strong momentum this quarter, with revenues increasing 15% to a record, driven by growing customer business volumes," said CEO Chuck Prince. "Global consumer deposits were up 12% and global consumer loans grew 11%. In our international franchises, revenues grew 18%, led by international markets & banking revenue up 20%.

"Our revenue growth combined with improving expense management and, after adjusting for certain non-recurring items, we generated positive operating leverage," said Prince. "Offsetting our improved revenue and expense performance were higher credit costs and a lower level of tax benefits than last year."

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