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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., UBS AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Dominion Resources Inc.

C BAC UBS DB D

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – December 3, 2012 – Zacks.com 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 - Analyst Report), Bank of America Corp. (BAC - Analyst Report), UBS AG (UBS - Analyst Report), Deutsche Bank AG (DB - Analyst Report) and Dominion Resources Inc. (D - Snapshot Report).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Four daily picks are offered free.

 

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

 

More Layoffs at Citi, Bonuses Cut

 

Citigroup Inc. (C - Analyst Report) is contemplating laying off 150 employees coupled with a 10% trim of bonuses in its trading and investment-banking division, according to a Bloomberg report. The move comes as Citi counters revenue slouch with expense cut initiatives.

Scheduled for this quarter, the layoffs would impact Citigroup’s businesses including equities trading and underwriting. Further, this year bonuses will be reduced at the company’s securities and banking division. However, leading performers might not encounter the cut.

Notably, the economic slump has had a severe impact on the Securities sales-and-trading business across several large Wall Street firms. With investors growing wary of the European debt crisis as well as U.S. economic outlook, this business has witnessed reduced volumes and lower revenues.

The onset of the current layoffs was triggered prior to the departure of Mr. Pandit, the former Chief Executive Officer of Citi. Further, with its new CEO, Michael Corbat, Citi remains committed to continue with the efficiency improvement measures and the expense management efforts.

In Conclusion
Amidst a challenging operating environment, lower returns and stringent capital norms, many Wall Street banks are downsizing businesses to meet the aforementioned challenges. Apart from Citi, Bank of America Corp. (BAC - Analyst Report), UBS AG (UBS - Analyst Report) and Deutsche Bank AG (DB - Analyst Report) are rightsizing their business and slashing jobs to address revenue slump.
 

As such, in a tepid economic recovery, bolstering revenue has become a challenge. Therefore, sustaining and elevating profitability through cost reduction measures including layoffs and bonus cuts are what several banks are looking at. So, until a recovery in revenue occurs, such actions are anticipated to continue to help strengthen profit levels and capital ratios.

Citi currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. Though cost cut initiatives are encouraging, we believe that change in estimates might occur only after the announcement of any major restructuring or for any substantial prospect of growth in revenue.

 

Dominion’s Virginia Solar Plan OK’d

 

Richmond-based utility Dominion Resources Inc.’s (D - Snapshot Report) business arm, Dominion Virginia Power received approval from the state’s regulators for the construction and operation of a solar power demonstration project in Virginia.

The construction of the 30-megawatt solar generation facilities was sanctioned by the State Corporation Commission ("SCC"). The facilities would be constructed at different locations by leasing rooftops of commercial, industrial, and public government buildings. Each installation will have a generating capacity of 500 kilowatts to 2 megawatts and will span a roof area of 75,000 square feet or more.

The renewable program’s estimated cost was set at $111 million by the company. However, regulatory authorities restricted capital spending to $80 million to reduce the burden on customers. When operational, the project output would be adequate to power around 6,000 homes during peak daylight hours.

The solar facility will boost Dominion’s position given the current positive vibe in the U.S. energy market that favors eco-friendly sustainable power generation. Although the use of wind energy for electric generation has gained considerable grounds in the U.S., we believe solar energy is not far behind.

The potential increase in solar energy usage in the U.S. will significantly complement Dominion’s targeted renewable growth goals of 15% for its Virginia operations by 2025. The Zacks Consensus Estimates for the fourth quarter and full year 2012 presently stand at 69 cents and $3.06 per share, respectively.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Four daily picks are offered free.

 

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