CIT Group Falls as Earnings Miss Estimates

CIT Group Inc., the business lender run by John Thain, fell the most in 18 months after reporting first-quarter profit that missed analysts’ estimates.

CIT slid 7.2 percent to $42.93 at 9:55 a.m. in New York, the biggest intraday decline since October 2012. Shares of the New York-based firm have dropped 18 percent this year, compared with the 0.4 percent slide of the 228-company Russell 1000 Finance Services Index.

Net income fell 33 percent to $109 million, or 55 cents a share, from a year earlier, CIT said today in a statement, trailing the 88-cent average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue declined 11 percent to $324 million and provisions for credit losses were increased, CIT said.

CIT’s earnings were “much weaker than we had expected,” Chris Kotowski, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. who rates the stock outperform, said in a note. “The weakness was spread across the revenue and credit lines, while expenses were essentially in line.”

Thain, the former CEO of Merrill Lynch & Co., has been selling assets and cutting expenses since being hired in 2010 to help CIT recover from bankruptcy. The bank agreed earlier this month to sell its student lending business for about $1.1 billion.

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