Updated from 3:08 p.m. EDTCitigroup's ( C) plans to undergo a reverse stock split could actually be good for the beleaguered firm's shares. Citi said Thursday it plans to file a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for approval to increase its number of authorized common shares and to amend its charter to allow for a reverse stock split of its common stock. The bank also filed with the SEC for its proposed offer to issue common stock in exchange for publicly held convertible and non-convertible preferred and trust preferred securities. In a statement, Citi said it anticipates launching the public exchange offer in early April. A ratio for the reverse split has not yet been determined, but analysts expect the move to help raise share above $5 again -- a critical level for the company. "For Citi, they are not going to get real money in buying shares unless that stock is over $5 per share," Cassandra Toroian, the president and chief investment officer of Bell Rock Capital, writes in an email. "Mutual funds can't buy or own shares of a company under $5. So for it to really get some stability, they need real money in there. ... If they do the reverse split there is high likelihood mutual funds will be buyers again." Sandler O'Neill & Partners analyst Jeff Harte also wrote in a note that boosting Citi's shares above $5 through a reverse split "might make it easier for institutional investors to buy the shares."