Citigroup shares rise after earnings top expectations, excluding $19 billion tax bill charge

Key Points
  • Citigroup reports adjusted earnings per share of $1.28 per share vs. $1.19 expected by Reuters.
  • Fourth quarter revenue of $17.3 billion was in line with estimates.
  • Company takes charge of roughly $19 billion after the new tax bill was signed.
Citigroup earnings top expectations, excluding $19 billion charge for tax law changes

reported quarterly earnings on Tuesday that beat expectations on solid results from consumer banking.

The big bank also reported a charge of roughly $19 billion following a revamp to the U.S. tax code.

Citigroup reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.28 for the fourth quarter of 2017. Analysts polled by Reuters expected earnings to come in at $1.19. Some analysts have published notes Tuesday morning that put the bank's EPS number closer to $1.20, excluding a tax-related gain.

Revenue came in roughly in line with expectations at $17.3 billion and was 1 percent higher than the fourth quarter of 2016.

Shares rose 1.4 percent in early trading Tuesday.

Citigroup also took at one-time, noncash charge of about $22 billion for the quarter. The company said that approximately $19 billion of the charge is related to recalculating the value of tax assets as a result of the new corporate tax cuts. Another $3 billion of the charge is related to bringing home profit made abroad.

Last month, President Donald Trump signed a bill that slashed the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

While the new law is expected to be a long-term positive for most companies, several announced they would have to take one-time charges because the lower rate reduced the value of their deferred tax assets, which represent taxes already paid. These companies initially recorded their deferred tax assets at the older, higher rate, so the tax cut made those assets less valuable.

Without the charges related to tax reform, profit for 2017 was $15.8 billion, a 6 percent gain from the prior year.

Revenue for consumer banking rose 6 percent in the fourth quarter, to $8.4 billion, and revenue in investment and corporate banking fell 1 percent, to just over $8 billion. Net credit losses rose 11 percent in the fourth quarter from the same period a year earlier, to $1.9 billion.

Last year Citi doubled its dividend and announced a $15.6 billion share buyback plan, its biggest ever. That is still on track. "Tax reform does not change our capital return goals as we remain committed to returning at least $60 billion of capital in the current and next two CCAR cycles, subject to regulatory approval," CEO Michael Corbat said in a press release on Tuesday.

"Tax reform not only leads to higher net income and increased returns, but also serves to strengthen our capital generation capabilities going forward," he said.