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Citigroup earnings tumble but beat expectations

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Citigroup reported a hefty decline in first quarter earnings Friday due to weak trading revenues and the energy bust in results that still bested analyst expectations.

[NEW YORK] Citigroup reported a hefty decline in first quarter earnings Friday due to weak trading revenues and the energy bust in results that still bested analyst expectations.

Net income for the first quarter dropped 26.6 per cent to US$3.5 billion.

Revenues were down 11.4 per cent to US$17.6 billion.

Citigroup became the latest large US bank to set aside more funds for bad or vulnerable energy loans, as it boosted reserves by US$233 million.

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Results were also marred by a 27 per cent drop in investment banking revenue and lower revenues from several key trading divisions, including equity markets and fixed income markets.

But Citigroup benefited from about a US$360 million reduction in expenses and from increases in lending to core clients.

"While our market-sensitive products clearly suffered from weak investor sentiment during the quarter, we continued to make progress in several key areas," said Citigroup chief executive Michael Corbat.

Earnings translated into US$1.10 per share, seven cents better than analyst expectations.

Citigroup shares rose 2.3 per cent in pre-market trading to US$46.00.

AFP

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