Buy Recommendation Reiterated For Citigroup Inc

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Citigroup (NYSE: C) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CITIGROUP INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, CITIGROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.33 versus $2.47 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.00 versus $4.33).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Financial Services industry. The net income increased by 125.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1,196.00 million to $2,691.00 million.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • C, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 13.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.6%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

Citigroup, Inc., a diversified financial services holding company, provides a range of financial products and services to consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Citicorp and Citi Holdings. Citigroup has a market cap of $151.5 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are down 4.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Citigroup Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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