Citigroup (C) is among the big banks that passed the most recent stress test from the Federal Reserve. That means the bank can go ahead with its plans to raise its quarterly dividend to 45 cents from 32 cents and to buyback $17.6 billion in shares.
The plan would take the bank’s dividend yield up to 2.72% on today’s price of $66.06. And the huge planned buyback puts some support under the share price in an uncertain market.
The shares are down today with the general market ahead of the Fourth of July holiday. At 3 p.m. Citigroup was trading at $66.06, down 1.64% on the day. I’m adding these shares to my Dividend Portfolio today.
Financials have taken their lumps recently with the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF), down from $28.34 on May 22 to $26.41 in this afternoon’s trading. Recent action has finally broken the steady string of down days but I can’t yet point to a rally in the sector. In fact the chart for the sector and for Citigroup still looks pretty negative for the short term. A further interest rate increase or two from the Federal Reserve would help that picture.
Citigroup reports earnings on July 13 before the market opens. Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.57 a share for the second quarter. In April the bank announced earnings of $1.68 for the first quarter versus projections by analysts of $1.60. Earnings for the first quarter of 2017 were $1.35 a share.
Citigroup is a replacement in the Dividend Portfolio for McDonald’s (MCD), which I sold out of the portfolio today.