For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 20, 2010 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Citigroup Inc. (C), Bank of America Corporation (BAC), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Eli Lilly (LLY).

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Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Citigroup Beats, Turns a Profit

Citigroup Inc. (C) has reported its first quarter earnings from continuing operations of 14 cents per share, well ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a break-even quarter. This also compares favorably with a loss of 34 cents per share in the prior quarter and -16 cents incurred in the year-ago quarter.

Strong trading revenues coupled with an improvement in loan loss provisions have attributed to this result. The company achieved a reduction in expenses as well. Citi reported a net profit of $4.4 billion compared with a loss of $7.8 billion in the prior quarter and a loss of $696 million a year earlier.

Revenues from securities and banking operations were more than doubled to $8.0 billion from $3.3 billion reported in the prior quarter. Provisions for credit losses and for benefits and claims were down $2.4 billion sequentially to $8.6 billion.

Citi reported a net release of reserves for loan losses and unfunded lending commitments of $53 million in the reported quarter, compared with a $755 million net build in the previous quarter.

Citigroup’s book value at the end of the quarter deteriorated to $5.28 per share, compared with $5.35 at the end of the prior quarter and $12.64 at the end of the prior-year quarter.

Citi, one of the companies severely hurt during the credit crisis, had received $45 billion in bailout funds in 2008 through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Later, in 2009, around $25 billion of that was converted into common stock.

In December 2009, Citi repaid $20 billion of trust preferred securities held by the U.S. Treasury under the TARP. Bank of America Corporation, or BofA (BAC) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) also repaid TARP money during that time. Currently, the Treasury continues to hold approximately 27% of Citi’s common stock, which the government is now selling off.

Last week, BofA and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) released their first quarter earnings. Both the companies reported strong performances and the results were well ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The better-than-expected earnings were primarily driven by solid investment banking performances and lower loan losses.

Though such strong performances from the major banks are encouraging, the management at Citi remains cautious, given the uncertainty of the economic recovery and the high level of unemployment.

Lilly Beats Zacks Consensus

Eli Lilly (LLY) reported first quarter earnings per share of $1.18, a couple of cents below the year-ago earnings of $1.20, but above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.11. Results included a 12-cent impact due to the US health care reform. Excluding this impact, earnings would have increased 4% from the year ago period.

Revenues recorded a 9% year-over-year increase to $5.49 billion, driven by an increase in volume (4%), prices (1%) as well as a favorable impact of foreign exchange (3%).

During the first quarter, Lilly’s lead product Zyprexa recorded an 8% year-over-year growth to $1.2 billion. Sales of the drug in both US and international markets increased 9% and 7%, respectively. Withdrawal of generic competition in Germany in early 2009 led to an increase in international demand of the drug.

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