Just when it seems like Mike Mayo and Citigroup were going to let bygones be bygones, the outspoken CLSA analyst said that some people at the firm need to go.
“There’s no question in our minds that heads should roll,” Mr. Mayo told the New York Times.
Last fall, Mayo raised his price target on Citigroup to $US66 a share. It was like a peace offering. Back in 2010 Mayo was telling everyone who would listen that the bank should take a write down on its assets. Then-CEO Vikram Pandit hated him, according to Fox Business’ Charlie Gasparino.
Even after Pandit quit in October 2012, Mayo wasn’t happy and suggested new CEO Michael Corbat should be replaced. That was March 2013.
In other words, Mayo raising his price target was a bit of a reversal, to say the least. It seems like the bank and its analyst could be friends.
Then yesterday happened. Citigroup failed its Federal Reserve stress test, and couldn’t withstand another Doomsday Scenario (like 2008). Today the stock is at $US47.98 today and has fallen over 4.5% in today’s trading day.
Failure means Citigroup definitely can’t go with the $US6.4 billion common stock buyback and $US0.05 common stock dividend it was planning next year. Investors, obviously, don’t love this.
“Needless to say, we are deeply disappointed by the Fed’s decision regarding the additional capital actions we requested,” said CEO Michael Corbat. “The additional capital actions represented a modest level of capital return and still allowed Citi to exceed the required threshold on a quantitative basis.”
The word is that Corbat wasn’t just disappointed, he was surprised, and held meetings at the bank after the Fed’s report was released to figure out what went wrong.
Perhaps the bank will consider asking Mayo, as he wrote a note about it in a note Thursday morning.
“Citi needs to make this defeat into victory by improving the pace of restructuring,” he wrote.
The bank, he suggested, needs to shed assets and watch its cash a little more closely.
“It is not as though they haven’t had time to clean up their act,” he told the New York Times.
Looks like the truce is over.