With Citigroup (C)in the news, yet again, this time with big-bath layoffs, let me repeat what I wrote here last December about companies that are likely to be winners for shareholders this year:
"Citicorp, by contrast, will likely win by default. If you were CEO Chuck Prince, and you were under the fire he endured this year, my guess is you would do whatever it takes to move the stock price higher -- no matter what that ultimately is -- to avoid getting fired." If he doesn't get fired, it means shareholders win. If he gets fired, shareholders win. (Or so it would appear, even if his removal -- barring improved performance -- creates a merely psychological boost.)
It's really that simple. Short of a macro financial fiasco that takes down all financial services companies, Citigroup remains on my list of companies to watch for upside this year.