Another quarter has come and gone, and Citigroup
In the third quarter, revenue from continuing operations climbed 15%. That's certainly a solid performance for a bank this size, and all of the major operating units reported year-over-year growth. Net income, though, wasn't so stellar.
Reported net income did jump 35%, but that included more than $2 billion from discontinued operations. Taking those out and looking just at income from continuing operations, the company was down 1% year over year. Not great, but at least the loss was smaller the prior quarter's.
Although all of the operating units had revenue growth, only investment banking and alternative investments showed profit growth. The consumer business was hurt by declining interest spreads and higher bankruptcy-related losses, while wealth management profits were hurt by losses in Japan and ongoing spending for building up sales and support functions.
Looking ahead a bit, the consumer business will probably continue to struggle until the interest rate environment gets a little healthier for banks. On a more positive note, at least loans and deposits continue to grow and people continue to use Citigroup-sponsored cards. Over the longer haul, I also happen to like Citigroup's positioning in Asia -- it'll take time and money to really maximize this opportunity, but I think they'll get there eventually.
In the meantime, Citigroup stock looks pretty cheap, with only Bank of America
That's a tricky problem for any company to deal with and it will take time for that valuation gap to close. Investors also realize that the gap may persist unless the company takes more drastic action in terms of new management, develops new operating and reporting philosophies, or perhaps even splits up the company. In any case, I'm a fan of undervalued assets, and I think Citigroup could still work out as a long-term value and income idea.
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).