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Citigroup Q4 Net Income Rises; Revenue Up 7%

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Citigroup Inc. (C) reported that its fourth-quarter net income increased 15 percent year-on-year driven by the higher revenues and a lower effective tax rate, partially offset by higher expenses and cost of credit. Revenues increased 7 percent, with strong results across both the Institutional Clients Group and Global Consumer Banking.

For the fourth-quarter, earnings per share was $2.15, up 31 percent from $1.64, prior year, primarily driven by a 10 percent reduction in average diluted shares outstanding and the growth in net income. The company noted that its current quarter results included a net benefit of approximately $0.25 per share related to discrete tax items. On average, 20 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $1.84, for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Fourth-quarter reported net income was $5.0 billion, compared to net income of $4.3 billion, a year ago. The income tax benefit recorded in Corporate / Other was $623 million compared to a benefit of $216 million in the prior year period.

Fourth-quarter revenues were $18.38 billion, compared to $17.12 billion, last year. Analysts expected revenue of $17.89 billion for the quarter. Operating expenses were $10.5 billion, an increase of 6 percent year-on-year.

For the full year 2019, Citigroup reported net income of $19.4 billion compared to net income of $18.0 billion, previous year. Revenues were $74.3 billion, compared to $72.9 billion, last year.

Citigroup's full year return on tangible common equity of over 12% exceeded its target. It ended 2019 with a common equity tier one ratio of 11.7%. Book value per share of $82.90 and tangible book value per share of $70.39 each rose 10 percent from prior year, driven by net income and a reduced share count. Citigroup's end-of-period deposits were $1.1 trillion as of quarter end, an increase of 6 percent from prior year.

During the fourth quarter, Citigroup repurchased 69 million common shares and returned a total of $6.2 billion to common shareholders in the form of common share repurchases and dividends. Citigroup said it is on track to deliver commitment of returning over $60 billion of capital to shareholders over a three-year period.

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