Updated from 12:18 p.m. EDT

Citigroup ( C) shares surged almost 40% on Tuesday, after CEO Vikram Pandit said the company has been "profitable" through the first two months of the year, but some analysts are not buying into the optimism.

Pandit, in his latest effort to assuage concerns regarding the company's stock price, which traded under $1 a share last week, said in an internal memo distributed Monday evening the company is having the "best quarter-to-date" since the third quarter of 2007. The company said that based on 2008 metrics, the first quarter's profit is $8.3 billion before taxes and provisions.

Citi shares closed at its day's high of $1.45 on the news, but Larry Tabb, the CEO and managing partner of consulting firm Tabb Group, questioned Pandit's rosy view.

"The best way to really provide credibility is with transparency," Tabb says. "The problem has been that Citi and some of these other organizations haven't really been forthright with the data," instead forcing investors to take more of a "trust me" attitude regarding toxic assets exposure.

For the first two months of the year, Citi's revenue, excluding marks, totaled $19 billion compared to $21 billion for the fourth quarter. In addition, the firm's deposits remain stable, its securities and banking businesses are performing well, while the company continues to provide credit to consumers and corporate customers, Pandit said in his memo.

As of the end of 2008, Citi had reduced its risky assets by roughly half to $112 billion from the year earlier period. Approximately $36 billion were subject to mark-to-market accounting, Citi said.

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