Mike Mayo reckons that stock in Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) could double over the medium term. The bank analyst made the comments while speaking to CNBC earlier today. According to Mayo, who recently advocated for the firing of the Citigroup’s CEO, the annual shareholder’s meeting reassured him of the company’s vitality in the face of its current challenges.
The Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) annual shareholder meeting was held today on the back of positive earnings and poor stress test results. Citigroup stock has gained more than 5% on the back of its better than expected first quarter earnings, but massive losses in the wake of its stress test failure leave it down more than 7% since the start of 2014.
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Citigroup still heading for $96
According to Mike Mayo Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) stock can still hit $96 per share over four years, despite the problems it has faced in recent months. The relationship between the bank’s CEO and its chairman was the focus of today’s commentary on the company.
Mayo told CNBC, “I’d say I’m very happy seeing the chairman, Mike O’Neill, and the CEO, Mike Corbat, interact for two hours. This is a great working relationship, and I still think ‘The Mike and Mike Show’ can play on Broadway and in 100 countries.” He reckons the two need to execute on their ideas little better in order to bring the company’s stock to more than double its current price.
A $96 price target on Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) implies a valuation of close to $300 billion. That would set the commercial bank as the most valuable in the United States, and close to the top of the list of most valuable companies out there. It also implies a valuation of more than 22 times 2013 earnings, well above every banking house bar Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC).
Citigroup battles with banking slump
Commercial banking has a reputation for being a license to print money, but in the current atmosphere it is not the best industry to be in. With investment problems and low interest rates eating into profits most of the banks in the United States have been suffering lower revenue in recent quarters. That has forced banks like Wells Fargo to focus on cost cutting to improve earnings.
That trend has been reflected at Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C). The company’s revenue came in at $20.12 billion in the first quarter of 2014, 2% below its position in the same period last year. The company did bet the expectations of analysts, however, and that drove its shares up in trading since the release of those results.
Mayo reckons that it will take Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) shares just four years to double in value. The analyst has, however, put a price target of $58 on the firm’s stock for the year ahead.