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Citigroup Q2 Profits Beat Expectations Despite Trading Drop

A Citigroup Inc. Bank Branch Ahead Of Earnings FiguresA Citigroup Inc. Bank Branch Ahead Of Earnings Figures
A pedestrian walks past a Citigroup Inc. bank branch in New York, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. Citigroup Inc. is scheduled to release earnings figures on October 14. Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesMark Kauzlarich — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Citigroup Inc reported a quarterly profit that beat analysts’ estimates as trading revenue held up better than the company’s forecast and loans grew.

The lender said markets revenue declined about 7% in the second quarter from a year earlier, smaller than the 12% drop Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach had projected at a conference two weeks before the end of the quarter.

Client trading surged a year earlier around UK’s Brexit vote.

The fourth-biggest U.S. bank by assets said on Friday net income fell 3.2% to $3.87 billion in the second quarter ended June 30.

Earnings per share was $1.28, topping analysts’ average estimate of $1.21, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

JPMorgan Chase & Co, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, also reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profit earlier on Friday, helped by higher interest rates and loan growth that cushioned a decline in trading.

Citigroup’s total revenue rose 2% to $17.90 billion and beat estimates of $17.37 billion.

Fixed-income trading revenue fell 6%, while equity trading revenue dropped 11%.

Loans at the end of the period were up about 2% from a year earlier, as well from the end of March, indicating a new momentum for lending.

Operating expenses rose 1.3% to $10.51 billion. But the ratio of expenses to revenue remained at 59%.

Tangible book value per share increased 6% to $67.32.

Citigroup’s shares were nearly flat in premarket trading. Up to Thursday’s close, the stock had gained 12.8% this year.

The shares have climbed toward their tangible book value since mid-April largely in anticipation of the company being allowed by the Federal Reserve to use excess capital to buy back stock.

Citigroup got the go-ahead on June to repurchase up to $15.6 billion of common stock over the next year – nearly twice as much as the year before – as well as double its quarterly dividend to 32 cents per share, bringing total payouts to $18.9 billion for the period.

Wells Fargo & Co, the third-biggest U.S. bank by assets, also reported on Friday.