Farrell: Citi Is Exiting the Storm - TheStreet

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Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

just reported earnings (or lack thereof). And while the estimates were all over the place, the per-share loss from continuing operations was 49 cents, and the average estimate was for a loss of 60 cents.

Premarket indications immediately improved, and this is a welcome sigh of relief. Whether better-than-expected results from Citi will be enough to overcome worse-than-expected results at

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

will play out soon enough.

A couple of observations on Citi: This was the second quarter of sequential improvement after last year's horrible fourth-quarter report. There was no mention of a dividend cut, and I bet fears of a cut will recede. Also, no mention of a need to raise capital, a la Merrill's sale of Bloomberg to replenish the capital base. Citi's Tier 1 capital, a closely watched and very important gauge of financial strength, now stands at 8.7%, well above all regulatory hurdles. It's worth noting that

JPMorgan's

(JPM) - Get Report

Tier 1 capital is 9.1%.

Enjoy your coffee -- more later.

Vincent Farrell Jr. is a principal of Scotsman Capital Management. Prior to joining Scotsman in April 2005, Farrell was chairman of Victory Capital Management of Cleveland and chairman of Victory SBSF Capital Management in New York. He was a founding partner of Spears Benzak Salomon & Farrell, which was acquired by KeyCorp in 1995. Vince held a variety of positions in his 23 years at SBSF, including chief investment officer, and he served as the portfolio manager on a number of the firm's largest client relationships. He is a regular guest on CNBC as well as other national print and broadcast media.

Prior to joining SBSF, Vince spent nine years at Smith Barney as a vice president, sales.

Vince graduated from Princeton University in 1969 and received his MBA from the Iona College Graduate School of Business in 1972.