Citing burdensome legal costs from its continuing mortgage woes and a challenging operating environment, Citigroup (NYSE:C) became the first bank to miss analysts’ estimates for the fourth quarter.
The bank reported fourth-quarter profit of $1.2 billion, or 38 cents per share, and earnings of $2.2 billion, or 69 cents per share. Both figures fell significantly below quarterly profit and earnings forecasts; analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted net income of $2.9 billion, or 96 cents per share. However, results were significantly higher than the profit of $956 million, or 31 cents a share, posted this quarter last year.
“Our bottom line earnings reflect an environment that remains challenging,” said Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat in his first earnings announcement since taking over the position in October. “It will take some time to work through the challenges of the current environment but realizing our core earnings potential, as well as improving our returns on assets and tangible equity, are critical goals going forward.”