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.
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.