Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Government's Plan to Sell Citigroup (C) Shares By Year End Could Fall Short" (C)

We're coming into earnings season. The last two quarters the Treasury stopped selling during a one month window preceeding Citi's release of their numbers. For the current quarter the date is October 18, according to the press release.
The October options stop trading on Friday the 15th.
From the Financial Times via StreetInsider:
The government's plans to sell all of its 7.7 billion common shares of Citigroup (NYSE: C) by year end may have been too ambitious, as slowing trading volume has impacted the Treasury's sale plan, the reported.

"The sales of Citigroup stock have slowed way down in July and August ," Linus Wilson, a professor of finance at the University of Louisiana, said. "The only option for the Treasury if it wants to exit Citigroup before the year-end seems to be to conduct a large secondary offering of the stake."

By the end of August, the government has sold less than half of its 7.7 billion shares, the report noted.

The government's current trading plan is set to expire on September 30, with or without it being completed, ahead of a quite period for third quarter earnings which is expected to begin on October 1.

Earlier in the month, reported that the government was nearing completing the sale of its latest 1.5 billion traunch. Even if the government completed the full sale of this traunch on time, it would still leave them with 3.6 billion shares remaining to sell before year end....MORE