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Why Citigroup Is Booming Today

By John Grgurich - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:37AM

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There's no mystery: A happy earnings report makes for happy investors.

First-quarter numbers for Citigroup (C -0.06%) are in, and given how good they are, investors are understandably happy, driving the superbank's share price up 2.98% already on the day.

Tale of the tickers
But before we dig into the particulars, let's have a quick look at where Citi's peers and the markets are so far:

  • Bank of America is up 0.82%.
  • Up 0.45%, JPMorgan Chase (JPM -0.82%) has just edged out of the red, where the superbank began the day's trading.
  • Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) has finally climbed out of the red, as well, where it began the trading day: It's now up 0.32%.

So far, so bad in the markets, however, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.46%, the S&P 500 down 0.56%, and the Nasdaq Composite down 0.55%.

Foolish bottom line
There's no mystery as to why Citi is beating the band today; the bank's first-quarter results are impressive, and investor money is flowing in.

First-quarter net income rose 30%, to $3.8 billion, not significantly far off from JPMorgan's Q1 results, which showed an increase in net income of 33%. This puts Citi's earnings per share at $1.23, easily beating estimates. 

Perhaps even more significantly for Citi, revenue actually rose in the first quarter: up 3% year over year. In comparison, JPMorgan's revenue dropped 3.8% year over year for Q1. Even Wells had reduced first-quarter revenue, down 1.4% year over year. 

A few other Citi bright spots to report:

  • Revenue rose 12% from the fourth quarter.
  • Net losses at Citi Holdings, the "bad bank" created after the financial crisis to hold the superbank's bad assets, dropped to $794 million, or 21%.
  • Operating expenses rose 1% year over year, but dropped 3% from Q4: The more efficient Citi can be in its operations, the more money for the bottom line. 

There you have it. Happy numbers make for happy investors, but as a Foolish investor, always remember that you're in this for the long term. Though the share prices of your favorite companies may spike and plummet on a day-to-day, week-to-week, or even month-to-month basis, so long as the fundamentals of the companies you're invested in remain sound, have faith that your money is in the right place.

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Stocks Mentioned

Citigroup Inc. Stock Quote
Citigroup Inc.
C
$49.75 (-0.06%) $0.03
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Stock Quote
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPM
$117.34 (-0.82%) $0.97
Wells Fargo & Company Stock Quote
Wells Fargo & Company
WFC
$41.67 (-0.79%) $0.33

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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