NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Citigroup (C) continued to decline on Friday after Atlantic Equities downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "overweight." The firm cited concerns that rising interest rates would put pressure on emerging markets revenue and that the lender does not have much room left to cut costs.
The firm lowered its 2014 and 2015 earnings per share estimates to $4.96 and $5.58, respectively, both of which are below consensus. Atlantic Equities also lowered the target price to $55 from $59.
Citigroup was down 2.31% to $49.55 on Friday.
In related news, Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach announced Thursday the company would stop operating Korean branches that aren't near large cities, according to Bloomberg.
The New York-based lender, whose international consumer bank is the largest among U.S. lenders, will release the costs for the changes later this year, according to Gerspach. Citigroup has been amending its plans in Korea for the last 18 months in an effort to diversify its portfolio, he said. The company has noted that Korea will cause a drag on Asian revenues throughout 2014.
Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat has tried to improve returns by reducing the consumer operations in some countries and instead focusing on wealthier clients in major cities throughout the world. Gerspach said this restructuring should make sure that the branches "are more aligned with that urban-type of strategy. We have done some of that, but hope to do that in earnest this year."
TheStreet Ratings team rates Citigroup as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation: