Citigroup Tops Q2 Earnings Forecast On Trading Revenue Surge; Credit Loss Provision Rises to $7.9 Billion

Citigroup followed JPMorgan in setting aside billions more to cover potential losses on bad loans, but saw a surge in trading revenues help beat Q2 earnings forecasts.

Citigroup Inc.  (C) - Get Report posted better-than-expected second quarter earnings Tuesday as a surge in trading revenues helped offset a steep rise in credit loss provisions.

Citigroup said profits for the three months ending in June were pegged at 50 cents per share, down 72.6% from last year but well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of 29 cents per share. Group revenues, Citigroup said, rose 5.3% to $19.77 billion, again topping analysts' estimates of a $19.1 billion.

Citigroup said its credit loss provision for the end of the quarter was $26.4 billion, up from $12.5 billion at the end of the same period last year, while credit losses for the quarter were pegged at $2.21 billion. The quarterly credit loss provision total was $7.9 billion, Citigroup said.

Capital markets trading revenues, however, were solid, with fixed income rising 68% to $5.6 billion and investment banking up 37% to $1.8 billion.

“While credit costs weighed down our net income, our overall business performance was strong during the quarter, and we have been able to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic reasonably well," said CEO Michael Corbat. "The Institutional Clients Group had an exceptional quarter, marked by an increase in Fixed Income of 68%. Global Consumer Banking revenues were down as spending slowed significantly due to the pandemic."

“We entered this crisis from a position of strength. During the quarter, our regulatory capital increased and our CET1 ratio improved to 11.5%, comfortably above our new regulatory minimum of 10%," he added. "We continued to add to our substantial levels of liquidity and our balance sheet has plenty of capacity to serve our clients. With a sharp emphasis on risk management, we are prepared for a variety of scenarios and will continue to operate our institution prudently given this unprecedented situation."

Citigroup shares were marked 1.63% lower in pre-market trading immediately following the earnings release to change hands at $51.30 each.