Investors got their first glimpse Monday at how the big Wall Street banks did in a most turbulent quarter. Citigroup's quarterly profit surged higher, but a sharp drop in its fixed income trading business slammed its revenue. The volatile trading in the fourth quarter drove fixed income revenue down 21 percent as credit spreads widened.
Citi managed to slash expenses, and that helped its profit breeze past Wall Street's targets.
Oppenheimer senior analyst Chris Kotowski continued to recommend Citi's shares, saying, "Importantly, credit quality remains outstanding."
Citi is the first big U.S. bank to report its earnings results, but it may not be a great bellwether for the sector. That's because it gets about half of its revenue outside the U.S.
To that end, its global consumer banking revenue was flat, as a drop in Asian business offset modest growth in the U.S.
Citi's shares rose Monday morning, chipping away at their 12-month decline of 26 percent.