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    Dire warning on Citi losses from analyst

    21.04.2009 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    NEW YORK - Citigroup’s credit losses are growing at a "rapid rate," undermining Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit’s efforts to stabilize the U.S. bank, according to Goldman Sachs Group.

    While Citigroup posted first-quarter net income of $1.6 billion last week, it suffered an "underlying" loss of 38 cents a share, Richard Ramsden, a Goldman Sachs analyst, wrote in a research note Sunday. He repeated a "sell" rating on the stock.

    Citigroup, which received $45 billion in government aid, ended a five-quarter losing streak on trading gains and an accounting benefit for companies in distress. The bank, which cut compensation costs and took fewer writedowns, still reported higher delinquencies on home and credit-card loans.

    The results "included several one-time items which muddied the waters," Ramsden wrote in the note. "The key question mark in our mind remains what Citi’s earnings power will be on the other side of the crisis."

    Ramsden halved his estimate for Citigroup’s 2009 loss to 25 cents per share, while keeping unchanged his forecast for 20 cents net income per share for 2010. He also introduced an estimate of 40 cents per share profit for 2011.

    The analyst kept a 12-month price target for the stock of $1.50. Citigroup’s shares fell 36 cents, or 9 percent, to $3.65 on April 17, the day it announced first-quarter earnings. The decline brought the stock’s loss this year to 46 percent.
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