NEW YORK: Citigroup Inc posted a $7.6 billion fourth-quarter loss after taking charges linked to repaying government funds.
The bank's losses on consumer and corporate loans fell compared with the third quarter, reassuring investors that credit costs may be stabilizing.
The third-largest US bank said the loss amounted to 33 cents a share, compared with a loss of $17.3 billion, or $3.40 a share, in the same quarter a year earlier.
Citigroup is the second major US bank to report fourth-quarter results. JPMorgan Chase & Co posted a quarterly profit of $3.3 billion last week, helped by rising fixed-income trading revenue, but suffered deep losses on US mortgage and credit card loans, which disappointed many investors.
Citigroup has been struggling to return to profitability in its main lending businesses after posting more than $100 billion of credit losses and writedowns. Although the bank posted a profit for 2009, $6.7 billion came from selling a controlling stake in its Smith Barney business.
"It's not an impressive quarter in my view," said Matt McCormick, portfolio manager and banking analyst at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel. Investors are still worried about further credit losses ahead, as well as the impact of sweeping changes to banking regulation, McCormick said.
Citigroup shares fell more than 50 per cent in 2009, while the KBW Bank index, a broader measure of banks, fell 3.6 per cent.