Why Citigroup (C) Stock Is Down Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Citigroup  (C) dipped Wednesday amid concerns that the bank could have fallen victim to commodities fraud tied to the Qingdao Port in northeast China.

Citigroup and other banks are concerned that their loans may not have enough collateral in the form of copper and aluminum stockpiles at the port, according to the New York Times. The banks dispatched inspectors to the site to determine if enough of the materials are there.

The fear comes from suspicions that a Chinese company promised the same collateral for multiple loans. Chinese officials are investigating the issue, which could have an affect on the commodities market and the Chinese economy. Banks have poured billions of dollars into the Chinese economy through these types of transactions, according to the article, and commodities prices have been declining amid concerns that such lending would slow.

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The stock was down 1.06% to $48.80 at 12:22 p.m.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CITIGROUP INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CITIGROUP INC (C) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, increase in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • CITIGROUP INC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CITIGROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.25 versus $2.46 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.65 versus $4.25).
  • 38.78% is the gross profit margin for CITIGROUP INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, C's net profit margin of 16.62% significantly trails the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Commercial Banks industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 3.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $3,808.00 million to $3,943.00 million.
  • C, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.5%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: C Ratings Report

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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.

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