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Citigroup’s earnings edge higher in first quarter

NEW YORK — Citigroup says its first-quarter earnings rose, beating the expectations of Wall Street analysts.

The bank made $4.1 billion in the first quarter, after stripping out the effects of an accounting change and a tax item. That was up 2.5 percent from the same period a year earlier, when it made $4 billion.

On a per-share basis, that amounted to $1.30 compared with $1.29 a year ago. That was better than estimates of analysts polled by FactSet, who were expecting $1.14.

Citi got a boost from improving results in its Citi Holdings unit, which is selling off assets such as mortgages that soured in the financial crisis. Losses at Citi Holdings narrowed to $284 million from $804 million in the same period a year earlier. The bank also benefited from a small drop in expenses.

The bank’s earnings improved even as revenue from mortgage refinancing and bond trading fell.

Revenue was $20.1 billion. That was down 2 percent from the same period last year when the bank generated revenue of $20.6 billion.

Analysts had forecast revenue of $19.5 billion.

Citi’s stock rose $1.60, or 3.6 percent, to $47.34 in pre-market trading.



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