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Credit Suisse downgrades Citi to neutral, says the bank has limited upside

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Citigroup ‘s stock may struggle to break out until the bank completes its transformation under new CEO Jane Fraser, according to Credit Suisse. Analyst Susan Roth Katzke downgraded the bank to neutral from outperform, saying in a note to clients on Friday that there were better options for investors. “We realize that the downside to C shares may prove more limited given a valuation within reach of prior cyclical troughs; but we believe the upside, relative to peers, will also prove more limited given the long road ahead in Citi’s transformation process, ” Roth Katzke wrote. Shares of Citi have slipped 10% this year, but the stock has put together a nice rally over the past two weeks. The stock closed at $46.56 per share on May 12, and then rose above $54 per share on Thursday, for a gain of 16%. However, the fundamental story for Citi has not changed, signaling that the run may be nearing its in according to Credit Suisse. “Our estimates are unchanged; earnings visibility remains more limited than we’d like compromised by (i) the need for higher levels of investment to support infrastructure transformation and organic growth, (ii) limited near term capital return capacity, and (iii) the pace of market exits,” Roth Katzke wrote. Credit Suisse kept its price target at $58 per share, which is 7% above where the stock closed Thursday. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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