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      Citigroup earns $2.15 billion in 3rd quarter

      Photo Credit: AP photo

      NEW YORK (AP) " Citigroup Inc., which is still 12 percent owned by the government, reported its third straight quarter of profit Monday as losses from failed loans narrowed.

      The New York-based bank earned $2.15 billion, or 7 cents per share, in net income available to common shareholders. That compares to a loss of $3.24 billion, or 27 cents per share, during the same quarter last year. The results were a penny per share better than analysts' forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters.

      Citigroup was one of the hardest-hit banks during the financial crisis of 2008 and received $45 billion in government aid, $25 billion of which was converted to stock. The government is still reducing its stake in Citigroup.

      Citigroup's results included a previously announced $800 million pretax loss tied to the sale of Student Loan Corp.

      Losses from bad loans fell 30 percent during the quarter to $7.66 billion as defaults in Citi's retail partner cards, Citi-branded credit cards and real estate portfolios all fell.

      Citigroup released $1.97 billion in money it had previously set aside to cover bad loans.

      The drop in defaults is a signal that consumers could be getting their footing again. Rival banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. also reported better results last week as losses narrowed from failed loans. Bank of America Corp. reports results Tuesday.

      Shares of Citi rose 9 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $4.04 in pre-opening trading.

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