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Poll: Is Citigroup Out of the Woods?

Citigroup's quarter results were good enough to ask: Is the bank out of the woods?
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Citigroup's (C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report first-quarter results appeared to offer fresh evidence Monday that the big bank has turned the corner.

The $4.4 billion profit and $25.4 billion top line, easily besting estimates, sparked a more than 7% rise in Citigroup shares Monday.

Driving some of Citigroup's positive quarterly results were rising asset values -- including the $800 million mark up of assets connected to subprime mortgages -- and a high-achieving investment banking unit.

But, as


Laurie Kulikowski points out,

Citigroup chieftain Vikram Pandit made sure to check the enthusiasm

with a few almost world-weary comments.

"Realistically, we do not expect our performance to follow an invariable trend-line upward," Pandit said, before noting the bank is "cautious about the environment."

Citgroup -- the embodiment of too-big-to-fail, of TARP bailouts and systemic risk -- has come under a regulatory cloud along with most of the rest of the Wall Street-based financial sector, as the

White House prepares to push its financial-industry reform bill

, and in the wake of

Goldman Sachs'

(GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Report

civil fraud run-in

with the

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Securities and Exchange Commission


(Goldman reports its first quarter tomorrow.)

Further, Citigroup's consumer banking division remains a serious drag, and the company still faces an uncertain future as Pandit continues his long-haul attempt to remake the brand into a global bank for affluent clients and big businesses, jettisoning the supermarket strategy that had defined its development over the last two decades.

Perhaps the biggest question is how Citigroup will achieve profit growth while at the same time scaling down its balance sheet.

We decided, then, to pose a simple question to readers of


, based on what appears to be a crucial inflexion point for this banking giant with the headquarters in the skyscraper with the slanted roof: Is Citigroup out of the woods?

Take our poll below to learn the consensus of


... and don't forget to leave a comment.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.