Monday, January 14, 2008

It Isn't Citigroup's EPS I Care About This Time

I have been getting a ton of emails asking what I think Citigroup (C) will post for earnings on the 15th. Truth be told, I have absolutely no idea (neither does anyone else by the way)and it really does not matter at this point.

We know whatever is posted will suck, bad. That being said, what then do we as investor actually care about?

Short List:
- The Dividend: We need clarity on it. It does not need to be cut and I do not want it cut. This subject needs to be pout to bed once and for all.

- Write-Downs: $5 billion", $10 billion?, $20 billion? At this point who cares. what we want to hear is "here is the number and that is the end of this game." Basically "we have marked them down to almost zero, anything from here is up".

- Asset Sales: What units and when? At this point certain sales are a foregone conclusion and when you have near $2.5 trillion in assets, sell some, who cares!

- Reorganization: What departments, how and when. The mortgage department restructuring that will allow the company to develop uniform products, policies and practices for mortgage offerings as well as portfolio and capital objectives focused on reducing mortgage exposure, specifically in higher-risk segments was a no-brainer. There must be other such moves available.

Essentially we want the guessing games over. They have been going on since late September now and it is time for Pandit to say "this is what is happening and what we are doing about it". The uncertainty has caused the stock to crater and Pandit could buy himself a whole lot of credibility by saying something to stop and reverse it.

The longer the deafening silence continues, investors are bound to become increasingly frustrated. Pandit cannot afford to look like another academic like former CEO Chuck Prince was, he needs to be a leader and take charge of the situation, now.

Disclosure: Long Citi,

Todd Sullivan's- ValuePlays

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