Citigroup Triumph on Sound Earnings Beat

Citigroup (NYSE:C) reported Tuesday quarterly results that easily beat analyst expectations, driven by strong fixed-income trading revenues along with growing sales from the bank’s consumer business.

Q4 earnings came in at $1.90 per share vs. $1.84 per share expected. Revenue registered at $18.378 billion as opposed to the forecast of $17.855 billion

Fixed-income trading took off, showing a reading of $2.9 billion, compared to estimates of $1.24 billion. Equities trading proved to be $516 million, compared to the forecast $673.7 million.

The bank’s consumer business also boosted its results, as its global consumer banking division raked in $8.5 billion in sales. That’s a 5% increase from the year-earlier period.

Citigroup’s bond-trading revenues represent a 49% surge from the year-earlier period. The bank said the strong results reflect a recovery from the fourth quarter of 2018 along with "strong performance, particularly in rates and spread products."

That strong result, however, was slightly offset by a 23% decline in equity trading as the derivatives environment becomes "more challenging."

The company also posted a full-year profit of $8.04 per share, which represents a 21% rise from 2018.

Citigroup shares are coming off their best year since 1999, surging more than 53% in 2019

Wells Fargo banking analyst Mike Mayo raised last month his price target on the stock to $97 per share from $85 per share, calling C his favorite banking stock.

Shares traveled $1.28 higher, or 1/6%, to open Tuesday at $81.93