Citigroup Beats Q3 Earnings Forecast As Loss Provisions Decline, Trading Revenues Jump

Citigroup followed JPMorgan in riding stronger trading revenues, and lower credit loss provisions, to post stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings.

Citigroup Inc.  (C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Tuesday as lower loan loss provisions, and firmer trading revenues, boosted its bottom line.

Citigroup said earnings for the three months ending in September were pegged at $1.40 per share, down 32.3% from the same period last year but firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of 93 cents per share. Group revenues, Citigroup said, fell 6.8% to $17.3 billon, edging just ahead of analysts' forecasts of a $17.2 billion tally.

Net credit losses for the quarter were tabbed at $1.92 billion, Citigroup said, down from $2.21 billion over the three months ending in June. Overall credit loss provisions, however, fell to $2.3 billion, well south of the $7.9 billion booked in the previous quarter.

“We continue to navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic extremely well. Credit costs have stabilized; deposits continued to increase; and revenues are up 3% year-to-date,' said outgoing CEO Michael Corbat, who will be replaced by Jane Fraser in February of next year. "Our Institutional Clients Group again had very strong performance, especially in Markets, Investment Banking and the Private Bank."

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"The backbone of our global network, Treasury and Trade Solutions experienced strong client engagement in the face of low interest rates," Corbat added. "Although Global Consumer Banking revenues remained lower as a result of the pandemic, we did see higher activity in our mortgage and wealth management products. 

“We are committed to thoroughly addressing the issues contained in the Consent Orders we entered into last week with the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency," Corbat said. "These investments will not only further enhance our safety and soundness, they will result in a digital infrastructure that will improve our ability to serve our clients and customers and make us more competitive." 

Citigroup shares were marked 0.7% lower in early trading immediately following the earnings release to change hands at $45.57 each.

Fixed income revenue, Citigroup said, rose 18% to $3.8 billion, while equity market revenues were 15% higher  from last year at $875 million. Global corporate banking revenues, however, fell 13% to $7.2 billion.