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Citi reports higher profit, revenue; stock rises

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(AP file)
This Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 file photo, shows a Citi Bank sign in Chicago. Citigroup turned in a strong first quarter, but the sentiment from the bank was more cautious than celebratory. Citigroup Inc. reports quarterly financial results before the market opens on Monday, July 15, 2013.

NEW YORK – Citigroup is reporting earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations for the second quarter as investment banking profits rose sharply.

Profit for the March-to-June period was $3.9 billion after excluding an accounting gain, the bank reported Monday. That's up 26 percent from a year ago.

The profit amounted to $1.25 per share, beating the $1.18 per share predicted by analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue was $20 billion after excluding the accounting gain, up 8 percent from the same period a year ago. That beat the $19.8 billion predicted by analysts.

Citi's earnings from investment banking soared 63 percent, boosted by strong stock and bond markets. Citi also did well in private banking, which caters to wealthy clients, and the bank set aside less money to cover bad loans.

Profits from consumer banking slipped 1 percent. Citi funded and serviced fewer mortgages in the U.S. and said it expects mortgage results will continue to be crimped. Interest rates have been rising as the Federal Reserve contemplates pulling some of its support from the economy. Mortgage rates have risen as a result, though they still remain near historic lows.

The loss at Citi Holdings, where the bank keeps troubled assets from the financial crisis, shrank again. The bank released some of the reserves it has set aside to cover bad home loans stored in Citi Holdings, only the second time Citi has done so.

Like most of its big-bank peers, Citigroup continued to cut jobs. Head count fell to 253,000 from 261,000 a year ago.

Citi's stock rose 86 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $51.65 in early trading.

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