Citigroup Q2 Results Show Boost In Card Spending


Citigroup posted Q2 results that topped expectations even as Wall Street-related activity was mixed — but consumer-oriented activity rebounded.

In terms of headline numbers, adjusted earnings of $1.83 were 3 pennies better than expected, and revenues, which were $18.76 billion, were $270 million better than expected.

That adjusted earnings per share number excluded a gain on the firm’s Tradeweb investment.

The Street had expected quarterly, and in some cases, year-on-year declines in trading, in investment banking activity and equity markets, that latter falling 9 percent year on year to $790 million. Fixed income was off 4 percent quarter to quarter to $3.3 billion.

Beyond the market volatility, and the fact that the stock was off in intraday trading, Citigroup’s results and commentary underscore a continued focus on spending on technologies to streamline operations. The company has said it sees $600 million in expense savings from such efforts and indeed, second quarter expenses were down 2 percent to $10.5 billion, which was, according to Bloomberg, $100 million less than analysts had expected.

Bright spots were seen in the consumer-focused side of operations, where Citigroup boosted its deposits by $3 billion. And in terms of cards, the company said that revenues from that segment were up 4 percent year over year to $4.9 billion. Average loans were up 3 percent to $162 billion, and net credit losses were down a single basis point as measured quarter over quarter. The number of accounts were up 3 percent year on year, per supplemental materials provided with the earnings data. Citi-branded card spending was up 2 percent in North America.

The company said in its supplemental materials that in North America, the branch count was off by 1 percent, to 668, but average deposits gained 2 percent.

North America represented the largest regional contributor, at $8.6 billion, up 1 percent year on year. That pace lagged growth seen in Latin America, where revenues gained 3 percent to $2.6 billion, and Asia, which was up 4 percent to $4 billion.

Net credit losses were up 9 percent to $1.9 billion, the company said. The firm said that it had reserved $2.1 billion to cover non-performing loans, which the newswire stated was in line with expectations — and which the company said was tied in part to a boost in card spending.


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