Citigroup Skeptic Mayo Upgrades Stock

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Citigroup ( C) was upgraded to outperform from underperform Wednesday by CLSA analyst Mike Mayo, a longtime critic of the bank.

Citing the ouster of CEO Vikram Pandit Tuesday, Mayo wrote that the change "seems to reflect a more proactive board and can improve poor governance."

Mayo added that the bank should be approved to raise its dividend soon after having been rejected by regulators in a recent attempt. The change "can only help mend the credibility gap, at least with regulators," Mayo wrote.

Mayo looks forward to a three year restructuring plan, "akin to actions taken by Chairman Michael O'Neill--former chief of Bank of Hawaii ( BOH) in his past jobs." He sees Citigroup shares as worth $52 on a "sum of the parts" basis, though arguing the sum of the parts is worth less than the whole, his price target is a more modest $43--up from $31. Citigroup shares were up nearly 2% in early trades Wednesday to $37.85

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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