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Time To Build This Citi?

Does the latest Citigroup stock offering suggest shares have finally bottomed?

Citigroup (C) said on Wednesday it sold $4.5 billion of common stock, 50 percent more than originally expected, bolstering the largest U.S. bank's balance sheet after billions of dollars of subprime mortgage write-downs and other credit charges.

The offering comes only about a month after Chief Executive Vikram S. Pandit said in an internal bank memo acquired by CNBC that Citigroup is "financially sound" and "well-capitalized."

Since late last year, Citigroup has raised more than $40 billion of capital, including $10.5 billion over the last week-and-a-half. The bank has suffered more than $46 billion of credit losses and write-downs since the end of June, and lost close to $15 billion in the last two quarters.

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I think now is the time to build a position, Karen Finerman tells the Fast Money traders, and I’ve begun to do just that. The combination of Citi’s capital raising and writedowns are extraordinary. Also, Fed cuts are traditionally good for financials and the asset side of their balance sheet could go up. Add that all together and I think it’s a buy.

K-fine is making a great case for the long term, adds Jeff Macke. But they keep raising money and that worries me in the interim. Shares could be diluted further so I don't see any need to rush in right now, he counters.






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Trader disclosure: On Apr. 30, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (MSFT), (INTC); Pete Najarian Owns (AAPL), (NOK), (TSO), (XLF), (YHOO); Pete Najarian Owns (C) Calls, (CHK) Calls, (MSFT) Calls, (POT) Calls, (SBUX) Calls, (GA) Calls; Finerman Owns (GS); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (HD), (KALU); Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (SBUX), (TSO), (VLO), (DVA), (SUN); Finerman's Firm Owns (YHOO) And (YHOO) Call Spreads; Finerman's Firm Owns S&P 500 Puts; Finerman's Firm Owns (C) Leaps, Finerman Owns (C); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (MDY), (SPY), (IJR), (IWM); Seygem Asset Management Owns (ITU), (NIHD)