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Earnings Preview: Citigroup to report results after naming new CEO

Citigroup (C) is scheduled to report Q4 earnings before the open on Thursday, January 17, with a conference call scheduled for 11:00 am ET. Citigroup is a bank that provides a wide array of financial services. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for EPS of 96c on revenue of $18.82B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 84c-$1.09 on revenue of $16.49B-$19.57B. LAST QUARTER: Citigroup reported Q3 EPS of $1.06 -- excluding certain items related to the valuation of derivatives -- against estimates for 96c, on revenue of $19.41B against estimates for $18.35B. Last quarter the bank's fixed income jumped 63% year-over-year, but its global consumer banking revenue increased just 2% and its overall securities and banking revenue fell 29% Citigroup stated that it was managing its risks "very carefully," and predicted that its net interest margin would remain pressured in the fourth quarter, but added that it expected to benefit from strong mortgage refinancing trends in the fourth quarter. In November former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit resigned after reportedly clashing with the bank's board over management issues. The board selected Michael Corbal, who was serving as Citigroup’s CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa, to replace Pandit. The bank on December 5 announced that it would cut 11,000 positions and on January 7 named two co-presidents, Jamie Forese and Manuel Medina-Mora. Forese is heading the bank's institutional businesses, while Medina-Mora is overseeing its Global Consumer Banking and its franchise in Mexico. Also on January 7 Citigroup estimated that it would take a pretax charge of $305M to settle charges of mortgage foreclosure improprieties. STREET RESEARCH: Several research firms have issued optimistic notes about Citigroup in recent weeks. On January 7 Wells Fargo added Citigroup to its Priority Stock List. Wells upgraded the stock because of what it sees as the bank's diversified fee revenue streams,ability to realize operating leverage gains, improving capital return, and ability to obtain above average returns from a late stage credit recovery. RBC Capital on January 9 increased its price target on Citigroup to $48 from $44. Although RBC lowered its estimates for the bank to reflect lower expected capital markets revenue from fixed income trading, the firm expects the stock to be supported by cost cutting and the continuing recovery of the U.S. economy. It maintained an Outperform rating on the shares. PRICE ACTION: Over the last three months, Citigroup's stock has risen over 14% to above $42, after reaching a trough of ~$34 in early December.