NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Citigroup's (C) sale of its Japanese consumer unit last week is being viewed as a step in the right direction for the sprawling financial institution, but Wall Street analysts and investors appear to be looking for something far more radical.
Citigroup has been the worst performer among the four big U.S. banks in 2014 with shares rising just over 5% going into the final trading day for 2014. That compares to a near 8% rise for JPMorgan Chase (JPM) , a 16% gain for Bank of America (BAC) , and a 22% advance for Wells Fargo (WFC) .
Citigroup is also the only major U.S. bank that hasn't raised its dividend in the years following since the 2008 financial crisis. The quarterly payout is stuck at a mere penny per share.
"We are not proponents of breaking up the Too Big to Fail Banks, but if senior management is unable to deliver 10% return on equity (on stated equity, not tangible equity) in the next three years (2015-17), alternative strategies will need to be considered, in our view," wrote RBC Capital Markets in a report on Citigroup earlier this month. "A persistent refusal by the regulators to allow Citigroup to return excess capital will make it extremely difficult to deliver the ROE needed to keep the company intact."