Monday, July 19, 2010

"KBW Raises Citigroup Outlook, Prefers J.P. Morgan" and "Moody's raises Citigroup's bank-strength rating" (C)

The stock is up a penny at $3.91.
A twofer from the Murdoch empire. First up the Wall Street Journal:
Analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised their earnings outlook for Citigroup Inc. (C) on Monday but voiced concerns about the bank's pace of recovery. The analysts upped Citigroup's 2010 earnings estimate to 27 cents a share from 7 cents a share. They cited improving credit trends but remained cautious over potential bank fees and higher capital requirements. The analysts also noted that the bank's "improvement in asset quality lagged behind a few of its peers" and favored investments in rival J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. [JPM). They kept their rating on Citigroup at market perform with a price target of $4.70 a share. Separately, Oppenheimer & Co. analysts maintained their outperform rating and $4.45-a-share price target on Citigroup. Shares of Citi were up about 0.8% premarket Monday, trading at $3.93 each. 
And from MarketWatch:
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Moody's Investors Services on Monday upgraded the outlook for Citigroup Inc.'s (C 3.90, +0.01, +0.13%) stand-alone bank financial strength rating to stable from negative. The ratings agency said it made the upgrade, "based on the company's strengthened capital position and improved risk profile." Citi's bank financial strength rating is now Baa2. Moody's also upgraded the rating for Citi's hybrid securities to stable from negative "because they are linked to the company's stand-alone financial strength rating."Citi's stock was up a fraction in early trading Monday.