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Citigroup made $2.9 billion in 1Q, missing Street

FILE - This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo, shows a Citibank branch in New York. Citigroup reported Monday, April 16, 2012, a profit of $2.9 billion for the first three months of the year. The bank says it collected record revenue from processing international
FILE - This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo, shows a Citibank branch in New York. Citigroup reported Monday, April 16, 2012, a profit of $2.9 billion for the first three months of the year. The bank says it collected record revenue from processing international transactions by other companies. It was hurt by an accounting charge of $1.3 billion as the value of its debt increased.
Mark Lennihan, File, Associated Press

NEW YORK — Citigroup made $2.9 billion in the first three months of the year, helped by record revenue from processing transactions for its international clients and more customers paying back loans on time.

The bank earned 95 cents per share, falling short of the $1.01 expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet, a provider of financial data.

The bank pointed to a separate figure for quarterly income, $1.11 per share, that does not include a $1.3 billion accounting charge that Citi took because the value of its debt increased.

Revenue was $19.4 billion, down 2 percent from the year-ago quarter.

Citigroup, which has the most international branches of any U.S. bank, took advantage of increased international trade. Its international transaction services had quarterly revenue of $2.7 billion, up 7 percent from last year.

Because more customers paid on time, the bank took a profit of $1.2 billion from the reserves it had set aside for loans losses. Customer loans late by at least 90 days, including credit card payments, fell 19 percent from a year ago.

Just like at rival JPMorgan, Citi's investment banking revenue fell, declining 12 percent to $5.3 billion. Volume in the stock market has been light this year. Citi's equity markets revenue fell 18 percent.

Historically low interest rates attracted Citi's large corporate clients to raise issue more debt. Citi's debt underwriting revenue increased 19 percent to $601 million.

Citi's first quarter results continued a stream of profits in the past two years, which gave CEO Vikram Pandit enough confidence to promise shareholders a higher dividend.

However, in a setback, the Federal Reserve said Citi, unlike most of its peers, did not have enough capital to raise its stock dividend and still withstand a financial crisis worse than 2008.

Citi stock climbed 55 cents in premarket trading, to $33.96.