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Citigroup, Visa, and Retail Sales Rocket The Dow Higher

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) continued its roller-coaster ride in Monday trading, moving up over 154 points as of 1 p.m. EDT. The move was broad-based, with 27 of the 30 Dow components rising.

Citigroup beats the Street
Citigroup  (NYSE: C  )  released first-quarter results Monday morning, reporting adjusted earnings per share of $1.30 which solidly beat Wall Street estimates by $0.16 per share. 

The increase in earnings came despite a decline in overall revenue compared to the first quarter of 2013. The decline was driven primarily by reduced mortgage refinance activity and lower revenue in the bank's institutional clients group. 

CEO Michael Corbat's statement was upbeat on the results and outlook for the company: "Both our consumer and institutional businesses performed well and we grew both loans and deposits while holding the line on our expenses." It was that hard line on expenses that drove profit higher on the lower top-line revenue.

Citi investors celebrated the release by pushing the stock up 4%.

Visa upgraded
Robert W. Baird on Monday upgraded Visa  (NYSE: V  )  from neutral to outperform. Baird stated that the risk/reward ratio has become more attractive for Visa at its current price. The news sent Visa higher by 2.6% through early afternoon.

Visa's stock more than tripled since 2011 before pulling back early in 2014. The rise is driven by very impressive fundamentals.

V Chart

V data by YCharts.

Net operating revenue increased 11% and earnings per share increased 14% at the end of the quarter that closed on Dec. 31, 2013. Total Visa branded cards outstanding increased 6% to 2.2 billion. Every quarter, over $1 trillion of transactions zip across the Visa payment network.

The company's fiscal second quarter ended on March 31. Results are scheduled to be released on April 24.

U.S. consumers rebound from polar vortex, and then some
The U.S. Department of Commerce released better than expected retail sales Monday, adding a jolt of macro optimism to the markets.

Retail sales increased 1.1% month over month in March, and February's numbers were revised upward to 0.7% from 0.3%.

The improvements were seen across multiple industries, particularly in the vehicle sales and building materials subsets. Motor vehicle and dealer parts surged a very impressive 3.3% in March, outperforming February's 2.5% growth. Building material and garden equipment and supply companies also benefited from the spring thaw, growing 1.6% in March versus a 0.6% decline in February.

Economists look to this data release as an early indicator for GDP growth. It is likely too little, too late for the first-quarter GDP to be released later this month. However, this positive release is reason for optimism among investors and observers for continued GDP improvement over the rest of the year.

Big banking's little $20.8 trillion secret
There's a brand-new company that's revolutionizing banking, and is poised to kill the hated traditional brick-and-mortar banks. That's bad for them, but great for investors. And amazingly, despite its rapid growth, this company is still flying under the radar of Wall Street. To learn about about this company, click here to access our new special free report.


Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 16, 2014, at 3:17 PM, davidscott1 wrote:

    Citigroup has reported consolidated net revenues of $20.12 billion for first quarter FY14, which is a 2.2% fall year over year but 3.7% better than analysts’ estimates of $19.39 billion.

  • Report this Comment On April 16, 2014, at 3:18 PM, mikewatson021 wrote:

    Citigroup Inc has failed the Federal Reserve’s Comprehensive Capital Analysis Review (CCAR). The announcement, made day before yesterday, came as a shock to both investors and Citigroup executives, and the bank’s stock has slid more than 5% since the news broke.

  • Report this Comment On April 16, 2014, at 3:21 PM, davidscott1 wrote:

    Citigroup’s net interest margin expanded 4 basis points to 2.9% during the quarter.

  • Report this Comment On April 16, 2014, at 3:23 PM, mikewatson021 wrote:

    Citigroup has handed a 23-year veteran of the bank the role of head of corporate banking in Europe, the Middle East and Africa – his second promotion in less than a year. Bravo!

  • Report this Comment On April 16, 2014, at 3:23 PM, davidscott1 wrote:

    Citicorp contributed $4.44 billion of the company’s total earnings, an 8% decline year over year.

  • Report this Comment On April 16, 2014, at 3:27 PM, mikewatson021 wrote:

    Citi Holdings contributed $1.44 billion to the company’s topline, up 58% year over year and a loss of $292 million, which is a 63% improvement from the previous-year period.

  • Report this Comment On April 16, 2014, at 3:28 PM, davidscott1 wrote:

    Citicorp contributed $4.44 billion of the company’s total earnings, an 8% decline year over year.

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Related Tickers

8/27/2015 4:35 PM
^DJI $16654.77 Up +369.26 +2.27%
C $53.44 Up +1.16 +2.22%
Citigroup Inc CAPS Rating: ***
V $72.40 Up +1.71 +2.42%
Visa CAPS Rating: ****