Investment banking gains drives Citi's quarterly results

FILE - In this Tuesday, March 17, 2015, file photo, a woman walks by a Citibank branch in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Citigroup Inc. reports earnings Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano, File)

NEW YORK — Financial conglomerate Citigroup said its third-quarter profits increased 8 percent from a year earlier, helped by a boost in its investment banking division.

Citigroup said it earned $4.13 billion, or $1.42 per share, compared with a profit of $3.84 billion, or $1.24 per share, in the same period a year earlier. The results beat analysts' expectations, who were looking for $1.32 per share, according to FactSet.

Citigroup's investment bank was the driver of the bank's profit growth in the quarter, despite a notable drop in bond trading revenue. Citi's institutional client group, which contains its trading desks and investment bank, had net income of $3.04 billion compared with $2.64 billion in the same period a year earlier.

In a statement, Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat said the bank had "a very solid quarter" across Citi's businesses.

While Citi's trading desks focus heavily on bond and currency trading, it was the bank's other trading desks that stood out. While bond trading was down 16 percent, stock trading was up 16 percent and security services were up 12 percent. Citi's drop in bond trading revenue is similar to what JPMorgan Chase reported on Thursday as well.

Investment banking revenue was $4.6 billion in the quarter, up 16 percent from a year earlier. The bank saw more underwriting of stock and bond offerings by companies as well as more fees for advisory services.

Citi's consumer banking division reported a 6 percent drop in profits in the quarter, to $1.17 billion, as the bank saw higher credit costs . The bank had to set aside more money to cover bad loans like in the bank's credit card division. JPMorgan also had to set aside more money in the quarter to cover souring credit card loans.

Firm-wide, Citi had revenues of $18.17 billion in the quarter up from $17.76 billion in the period a year earlier, beating analysts' expectations.

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