On Thursday evening, every bank investor held their breath as the Federal Reserve released the results of the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, which examined the largest U.S. banks' ability to make capital distributions and maintain certain capital levels during an economic downturn.
That is, everyone except Citigroup (NYSE:C) investors.
While none of the other major U.S. banks gave much earlier indication of their capital plans, Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat and team announced the bank's intention to keep its quarterly dividend at a paltry $0.01 after the release of last week's Dodd-Frank stress test results. Although the bank will be initiating a $1.2 billion common stock buyback program, Citigroup investors will have to keep waiting for the day the megabank starts to put a little more cash in their pockets.
Despite his stinginess, investors have reacted positively to Corbat's decision to remain conservative and position the bank to continue bolstering its once-troubled balance sheet. After seeing Citigroup's plan get shot down last year and Bank of America's (NYSE: BAC) denied the year before, Corbat understands the stigma of overextending the bank's capital position just to appease pressures.