Citigroup has announced a 23 percent rise in second-quarter profits fueled by merger advising fees and growth in overseas operations. The board of directors also announced a 4-for-3 split in the company’s common stock in the form of a 33 1/3 percent stock dividend, payable Aug. 25.
Analysts had estimated 83 cents per share in earnings, but the company posted $3.01 billion or 87 cents per share, up from $2.45 billion or 70 cents per share in the same quarter last year. Approval was granted by the board for repurchase of an additional $5 billion of Citigroup common stock, continuing the company’s program of buying shares primarily to fund employee benefit plans.
Second-quarter gains were driven by Citigroup’s investment banking operations and the Salomon Smith Barney securities unit, which delivered strong earnings advising European companies on mergers and acquisitions.
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