Monday, January 17, 2011

UPDATED: Citigroup is Reporting Earnings on Tuesday Morning and the Treasury Will Be Auctioning Citi Warrants--What are they Worth (C)

Update: "Citigroup Earnings: Swing and a Miss (C)"
Original post:
In a word: not much. I'd be surprised if the blended average of the initial auction results value them at more than a buck.
Here's what's going on the block:

188.5 million warrants with a strike price of $10.61 and a maturity date of Dec. 31, 2018
  66 million warrants with a strike price of $10.61 and a maturity date of Jan. 15, 2019
210.1 million warrants with a strike price of $17.85 and maturity date of Oct. 28, 2018

With the stock closing at $5.13 on Friday the $10.61's could go for $1.30, the $17.85's for 55 cents.

Pricing such long term instruments is as much alchemy as it is finance. Change one parameter by a tweak or two and levered out over that amount of time you have a big change in the valuation.
So what number are you plugging in for the expected and implied volatility of the stock? Historic volatility will only take you so far.
What is the risk-free interest rate? This is not a trick question what with QE2 and other loose money operations I'm not sure we know the number.

Here's Friday's announcement
Treasury Announces Intent to Sell Warrant Positions in Public Dutch Auctions 

If you want some comparisons "A Secret Route to Banking's Potential Riches" (BAC; HIG; JPM; WFC)" has the details on similar deals done by the Treasury for other large bailout recipients.

As for Tuesday's earnings, the average analyst estimate is 8 cents with the range being a nickle to 9 cents. Because of the recent run-up a penny miss would hurt more than a positive penny surprise. My best guess is that loan write-offs have declined to a small number and the company may even take some money out of loan-loss reserves, not real high quality earnings but earnings none-the-less.

For dreamers, here are a couple of our Citi posts:
"Citigroup, Bank of America Up Six Times by 2015 Says Dick Bove" (BAC; C) 

"Citigroup CEO Pandit Expected to Say Citicorp Could Earn $20 Billion By 2012" (C) 
On 29 Billion shares that's 69 cents per share.
What multiple do you put on that?

If you're interested use the 'search blog' box, keyword Citigroup. This is a name we know.