London: Citigroup Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, boosted by a surge in investment banking revenue and lower expenses. Investment banking revenue rose 20 percent to $1.4 billion, as strong growth in advisory and investment-grade debt underwriting more than offset a drop in equity underwriting. Bond trading rose 1 percent in sharp contrast to Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, both of which reported declines.
But a 24 percent drop in equities trading pressured Citi’s overall revenue, which fell 2 percent to $18.58 billion and came in slightly below analysts’ estimates.
Revenue from consumer banking, the bank’s largest business, was flat at $8.5 billion, due to weakness in Asia. Earlier this year, the bank said it would earn $2 billion more in revenue from lending activities than it did in 2018.
Total loans at the third-largest U.S. bank by assets rose 3 percent to $682.3 billion, while deposits grew 5 percent to $1.03 trillion, excluding foreign exchange fluctuations.
Citi’s net interest margin, a closely watched metric, expanded 8 basis points to 2.72 percent in the quarter, while total operating expenses fell 3 percent to $10.58 billion.
Net income rose to $4.71 billion, or $1.87 per share, for the first quarter ended March 31 from $4.62 billion, or $1.68 per share, a year earlier. Analysts were looking for a profit of $1.80 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Shares of the company were up 1.2 percent in trading before the bell.