From "The Street"
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Four analysts have lowered their target prices for Citigroup following the bank's release of its second quarter earnings results on Friday, expressing concerns about higher expenses despite higher revenues.
Keefe, Bruyette & Woods cut its price target to $48 from $50, Sterne Agee and Barclays both lowered their targets to $55 from $60 and Oppenheimer lowered its price target to $53 from $55. Nine other analysts have published reports on Citigroup since Sunday, leaving their earlier prices targets unchanged, according to data from Bloomberg.
Despite the target price cuts, the analysts left their overall recommendations in place, and had plenty of positive things to say about Citigroup's earnings.
KBW analyst David Konrad noted strong revenues but expressed returns about higher expenses. Despite dropping his target price, he raised his 2011 earnings estimates by $0.08 to $3.83, while also upping estimates for 2012 and 2013.
Barclays analyst Jason Goldberg sounded a similar note.
"While [Citigroup's] 2Q11 beat was driven by asset sale gains and a lower tax rate, loan growth was impressive. Loans increased 2%, with Citicorp jumping a full 5% (Citi Holdings -5%). Sequentially, Citicorp grew loans in every business, in every region (emerging markets +8%, developed markets +4%). Still, greater than expected expense growth (due to F/X & legal), and expectations for continued elevated levels, overshadowed this and other positive developments, in our view," Goldberg wrote.
Oppenheimer's Chris Kotowski called Citigroup his favorite stock, calling it "extraordinarily cheap, on a [tangible book value] that is rising and not falling."
Citigroup shares, which were down by more than 1% Friday, were lower by 3.57% to $37.01 shortly after midday Monday amid a widespread sell-off in bank stocks.