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Citigroup Beats Estimates as Cost Cuts Outpace Revenue Declines

Citigroup Inc., the U.S. bank that gets more than half its revenue from abroad, boosted profit more than analysts estimated after a drop in legal costs helped it cut expenses faster than revenue fell.

Third-quarter net income rose 51 percent to $4.29 billion, or $1.35 a share, from $2.84 billion, or 88 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based lender said Thursday in a statement. Earnings amounted to $1.31 a share excluding accounting adjustments, beating the $1.27 average estimate of 26 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat, striving to meet financial goals by the end of this year, has sold assets and closed branches to shave costs and focus on affluent consumers and multinational corporations. That helped the firm weather the third quarter’s global market turmoil, which hurt revenue and profits at peers including JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“Citi is actually by some measures performing better than JPMorgan in terms of expense efficiency and capital,” David Hilder, an analyst at Drexel Hamilton LLC, said in an interview before results were reported.

Citigroup’s expenses fell 18 percent to $10.7 billion from a year earlier, while revenue slid...