Whitney ‘Uninspired’ by Citigroup’s Corbat, Bullish on BofA

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Meredith Whitney, CEO at Meredith Whitney Advisory Group, breaks down the banks and explains why Bank of America is the bank stock to own in 2013. She speaks on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg Surveillance."

Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat hasn’t offered a clear vision for where he wants to take the bank, analyst Meredith Whitney said.

“We don’t really know Mike Corbat’s agenda,” Whitney, founder of Meredith Whitney Advisory Group, said today in an interview with Tom Keene on Bloomberg Television. “He didn’t give us an agenda and he didn’t even give us a time stamp for when he’s going to give us an agenda, so it left people a little bit uninspired.”

Corbat, 52, replaced the ousted Vikram Pandit as CEO at the third-biggest U.S. bank in October. He has since announced plans to fire about 11,000 employees and pull back from certain markets as he seeks to cut Citigroup’s costs and boost rewards for shareholders.

Whitney, 43, has a hold rating on Citigroup.

“I think Citi does OK, but I think Bank of America is the stock to own this year,” Whitney said. Bank of America Corp. CEO Brian T. Moynihan, 53, has been underestimated, she said.

Bank of America, the second-largest U.S. lender by assets, has gained 2.8 percent this year and Citigroup is up 8.8 percent.

Bank of America, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, reported on Jan. 17 that fourth-quarter net income slumped 63 percent to $732 million. Citigroup posted profit of $1.2 billion, which missed estimates as litigation costs rose, the company said last month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Dexheimer in New York at edexheimer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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