Shares of Citigroup closed at $37.72 Monday, returning 44% year-to-date, following a 44% decline during 2011. The shares trade for 0.7 times their reported tangible book value of $52.70, and for eight times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $5.30. Of course, the biggest recent news for Citigroup is a change at the top, with CEO Vikram Pandit resigning last Tuesday, being quickly replaced by Michael Corbat who had previously serviced as the company's CEO of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Corbat also previously headed Citi Holdings, which is the subsidiary holding Citigroup's noncore assets, as they run down, in keeping with Pandit's long-term "good bank/bad bank" strategy to right-size the company's balance sheet and free up capital. Pandit's exit was quite a surprise, coming just one day after Citi announced what most analysts thought was a decent third quarter, with earnings of $468 million, or 15 cents a share, declining from 95 cents during the second quarter, and $1.23 during the third quarter of 2012. Citi's third quarter featured several one-time items, including a $4.7 billion pre-tax loss on the company's sale of a 14% stake in the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joint venture, and the write-down of its remaining stake in the joint venture, as well as a negative $776 million in debit valuation adjustments, and a $582 million tax benefit. Excluding these items, the company earned $3.3 billion, or $1.06 a share. Citigroup's net interest margin for the third quarter was 2.84%, expanding from 2.76% the previous quarter, but narrowing from 2.95% a year earlier. The company's estimated Basel III Tier 1 common equity ratio was 8.6% as of Sept. 30, increasing from 7.9% in June, as Citi Holdings continued to wind down. Following Corbat's appointment as Pandit's successor, Citigroup Chairman Mike O'Neill hinted that the company's balance sheet reduction -- which should eventually free up enough capital for a significant return to investors though dividend increases and share buybacks -- might accelerated, as the company's board of directors believed "he will place a special emphasis on sharpening the Company's focus on achieving sustained, strong, operating performance." O'Neill also pointed out that Corbat "was the CEO of Citi holdings from its inception, where he managed the wind down of nearly $600 billion of non-core assets." Ramsden's price target for Citigroup's shares is $42, and he estimates the company will earn $4.75 a share in 2013 and $5.25 in 2014. Interested in more on Citigroup? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.
Shares of Wells Fargo closed at $34.50 Monday, returning 27% year-to-date, following 10% decline during 2011. The shares trade for 1.5 times tangible book value, according to Thomson Reuters Bank Insight, and for 9.5 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $3.63. Based on a quarterly payout of 22 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 2.55%. Wells Fargo reported third-quarter earnings applicable to common stock of $4.7 billion, or 88 cents a share, increasing from $4.4 billion, or 82 cents a share, in the second quarter, and $3.8 billion, or 72 cents a share, during the third quarter of 2011. The company's third-quarter net interest margin declined by 25 basis points sequentially to 3.66%, its third-quarter net interest income totaled $10.7 billion, declining sharply from $11.0 billion the previous quarter, while increasing from $10.5 billion a year earlier. Wells Fargo CFO said during the company's earnings conference call that "we expect continued pressure on the net interest margin given this low rate environment... however, we don't believe the net interest margin decline we had this quarter is representative of what we will see in the future." Wells Fargo's noninterest income increased to $10.6 billion in the third quarter, from $10.3 billion in the second quarter, and $9.1 billion in the third quarter of 2011. Mortgage banking revenue totaled $2.8 billion, declining from $2.9 billion the previous quarter, but increasing from $1.8 billion a year earlier. During the third quarter, the company reported $529 million in net gains from trading activities, increasing from $263 million the previous quarter, and from losses of $442 million in September of last year. Ramsden said that Wells Fargo's mortgage production volume was up 6% sequentially and 56% year-over-year, and that "volume during the first few weeks of October has accelerated as rates reached new lows." The analyst expects the high refinance volume "to continue on for a few quarters." Another bright spot for Wells Fargo in the third quarter was trust and investment fees, which grew to $3.0 billion, from $2.9 billion the previous quarter, and $2.8 billion a year earlier. Like most of the large banks, Wells Fargo has been focused on reducing expenses. Total noninterest expense declined to $12.1 billion in the third quarter from $12.4 billion in the second quarter, although expenses were up from $11.7 billion in the third quarter of 2011, with rising costs for employee compensation and benefits. With so many moving parts, the efficiency ratio is a useful measure of the company's expense control efforts. The efficiency ratio is, essentially, the number of pennies of overhead expenses for each dollar of revenue. Wells Fargo's efficiency ratio improved to 57.1 in the third quarter, from 58.2 the previous quarter, and 59.5 a year earlier. The company has had the strongest and most consistent earnings performance among the big four, with a return on average assets (ROA) of 1.34% over the past 12 months ended Sept. 30, and a return on average tangible common equity (ROE) of 15.86%, according to Thomson Reuters Bank Insight. Ramsden's price target for Wells Fargo is $40, and he estimates the company will earn $3.65 a share in 2013, followed by EPS of $3.95 in 2014. Interested in more on Wells Fargo? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.
Shares of JPMorgan Chase closed at $42.09, returning 30% year-to-date, following a 20% decline during 2011. The shares trade for 1.2 times tangible book value, and for eight times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $5.30. Based on a quarterly payout of 30 cents, the shares have a dividend yield of 2.85%. JPMorgan reported third-quarter earnings of $5.7 billion, or $1.40 a share, increasing from earnings of 5.0 billion, or $1.21 a share, during the second quarter, when the company booked $4.4 billion in hedge trading losses. In Sept. 2011, the company earned $4.3 billion, or $1.02 a share. The company suspended its share buyback program in May, after CEO James Dimon first announced the hedge trading losses. During the third-quarter earnings conference call, Dimon the company might resume share repurchases in the first quarter, but said buybacks before the next round of Federal Reserve stress tests would be "immaterial." Dimon also said during the call that "the Firm reported strong performance across all our businesses in the third quarter of 2012. Revenue for the quarter was $25.9 billion, up 6% compared with the prior year, or 16% before the impact of