Citi's Pandit aims for $20 billion in profits

By David Ellis, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit offered a bold outlook for his troubled firm Thursday, saying he hoped his company would soon be able to deliver profits of approximately $20 billion.

Pandit, speaking at a company-sponsored conference, did not give a time frame for when the bank would generate this profit. He did stress however that the company would be able to earn big returns on the assets within its Citicorp division, which oversees both its investment bank and consumer banking businesses.

citi.gif

"It is time to shift our focus to the future which is Citicorp," he told an audience in New York.

The company split itself into two parts in January 2009 - Citicorp and Citi Holdings - as part of an effort to get the beleaguered bank back on track.

Citi Holdings, which was created as a dumping ground for its so-called "troubled assets", controls roughly $547 billion worth of assets. Losses within that division widened to $2.4 billion during fourth quarter of last year.

Capturing large profits within its Citicorp business though could offset any troubles within its Citi Holdings division.

It would also be a significant turnaround from the severe losses the bank has endured since the start of the crisis. During 2008 alone, Citigroup lost $27.7 billion.

The company already reached one major milestone late last year after paying back the $45 billion it received under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.

U.S. taxpayers however, still own a 27% stake in the company.

At a hearing in Washington last week, a Treasury Department official said the agency planned to dispose of its remaining stake in the firm "as soon as possible."

Pandit noted Thursday that the government will not be able to sell any of its shares until at least later this month when a lock-up on Citigroup stock expires. Treasury would also have to give notice if it indeed planned to sell at least part of its stake.

"Given where the economy is, given where the stock is, I wouldn't be surprised if they would think about doing that," said Pandit.

Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) shares gained nearly 5% in afternoon trading Thursday. The stock has gained nearly 20% so far this week. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,129.50 22.80 0.13%
Nasdaq 4,575.49 4.85 0.11%
S&P 500 2,001.84 1.82 0.09%
Treasuries 2.37 -0.02 -0.75%
Data as of 9:34am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Intel Corp 34.80 -0.01 -0.03%
Regions Financial Co... 10.26 0.04 0.39%
AbbVie Inc 55.75 -0.12 -0.21%
Comcast Corp 54.56 -0.09 -0.16%
eBay Inc 56.25 0.76 1.37%
Data as of Aug 26

Sections

Shrinking demand for rifles pulls down gun maker's quarterly profit by 45%. More

University of Utah professor Michael Glauser cycled 4,000 miles this summer, visiting 100 entrepreneurs across the country. Here's a snapshot of how they grew their businesses. More

Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 6 in two weeks, but waiting until then to sell your old iPhone means you're way late to the game. More

The Coolest Cooler launched a Kickstarter campaign in July and has raised over $9 million so far, the second highest grossing campaign ever. More

Mary Fallon, from Durham, Maine, is a mother of three children, two dogs, 25 chickens and a flock of 22 sheep. Here are journal entries from a day in her life. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.