CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Citigroup says profit fell 34% in the third quarter due to weakness in its consumer banking division, as the pandemic continues to make it tough for millions of Americans and businesses to pay their bills.

The New York-based bank said Tuesday that third-quarter net income fell to $3.23 billion from $4.91 billion in the year ago quarter.

Per-share earnings for the latest quarter were $1.40. That result topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.01 per share.

Citigroup posted revenue of $20.12 billion in the period. Its revenue net of interest expense was $17.3 billion, slightly better than Wall Street forecasts although down 7% from a year ago. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $17.26 billion.

The bank did set aside less money for potential bad loans in the latest quarter compared to earlier in the year, a sign that some of the economic strain from the coronavirus pandemic could be easing. Citigroup’s provision for credit losses was $2.26 billion in the third quarter compared to $7.9 billion in the second quarter. JPMorgan also set aside fewer dollars to cover potentially bad loans, signaling that potentially the worst of the economic pain from the pandemic may be over.

Citigroup shares have fallen 43% since the beginning of the year, while the S&P 500 index has climbed slightly more than 9%. The stock has decreased 33% in the last 12 months. Shares rose 2% in premarket trading Tuesday.


Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research.