Citigroup Profit Climbs 13% as Stock-Trading Revenue Jumps

Citigroup Inc. (C) , the fourth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, said first-quarter profit climbed 13% as taxes decreased following President Donald Trump’s cuts in the corporate tax rate, while stock-trading revenue jumped as market volatility rebounded following a sluggish 2017. 

Net income rose to $4.62 billion from $4.09 billion a year earlier, the bank said Friday, April 13, in a statement. Adjusted earnings per share climbed to $1.68, beating the $1.61 average estimate of analysts in a survey by database provider FactSet.

Like Wall Street rival JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) , Citigroup benefited in the period from Trump’s tax cuts as its corporate rate dropped to 24% from 31%. Citigroup had lobbied for the new law, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 

The bank also benefited from a resurgence in stock-market volatility as traders speculated over the pace of Federal Reserve interest-rate increases, U.S. trade tensions with China and the data-privacy scandal at Facebook Inc. (FB) The Cboe Volatility Index, a key gauge of market volatility known as the VIX, was 43% higher on average during the quarter.

The resurgence in volatility has prodded investors out of last year’s languor, when unusually calm markets kept investors on the sidelines and left few opportunities for traders at Wall Street banks to score gains on big price swings. 

Citigroup’s stock-trading revenue climbed 38% to $1.1 billion, while fixed-income trading revenue fell 7% to $3.42 billion. 

Earlier Friday, JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank, said first-quarter profit surged by 35%, also helped by the tax cuts and improved trading results.  

Citigroup’s other Wall Street rivals — Bank of America Corp. (BAC) , Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS)  — are scheduled to post results next week.

Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Facebook are holdings in Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

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