Citigroup is a Buy: Bove

Rochdale Securities analyst Richard Bove started Citigroup with a 'buy' rating and a price target of $4 Friday, calling it "the only truly international bank in the world."

Citigroup's normalized earnings estimate makes the bank attractive, Bove said. Though it will take time to return to the core business, Citi will have that time, he said, explaining why he is positive on the company's outlook.

He said he expects Citigroup to report a 2009 loss per share of 52 cents and an earnings per share of 13 cents in 2010. His estimate for 2011 is 32 cents per share.

Normalized earnings are expected to be $1.15 per share, suggesting an ultimate target for the bank is $12, Bove said.

In his notes, Bove said he was reassured after the U.S. government provided funding for the bank, stating that Citi was "too big to fail."

Citigroup's shares were up 3.8 percent at $3.25 in pre-market trade on Friday.


Disclosure information was not available for Richard Bove or his company.