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Goldman downgrades Citigroup on poor profitability

Pedestrians pass in front of a Citibank branch in New York.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Goldman Sachs lowered its rating for Citigroup shares to neutral from buy, citing the prospect the company will miss its profitability goals.

"Despite investments in higher return businesses like credit cards, we do not see a path to a meaningful inflection without an improvement in the macro environment," analyst Richard Ramsden wrote in a note to clients Friday.

"Moreover, our new work suggests growth in higher return businesses and expense discipline will not be enough to take ROE [return on equity] all the way to its 10% ROE target."

Return on equity is a measure of profitability that shows how much profit a company makes versus the amount invested in shareholder equity.