Stocks pairs trading: WFC vs C

BATS:C   Citigroup, Inc.
I'm exploring a pairs trading strategy involving two giants in the banking industry, Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC). Both banks are well-established and have a wide range of financial products, but there are key differences that present a trading opportunity. The idea is to go long on Citigroup and short on Wells Fargo, aiming to capitalize on their reversion to a historical relationship.

Why Go Long on Citigroup (C):

Valuation: Citigroup has a lower P/E ratio of 6.49 compared to Wells Fargo's 10.28, making it less expensive relative to Wells Fargo.

Dividend Yield: Citigroup offers a higher dividend yield of 4.82% compared to Wells Fargo's 3.15%. Over time, reinvesting these dividends could offer a significant advantage.

Restructuring Plans: Citigroup announced a major restructuring that could lead to long-term cost savings and operational efficiency. Although it may lead to short-term layoffs, the strategy is designed to bolster the bank's financial future.

Return on Assets (ROA): Citigroup's ROA is 0.56%, comparable to Wells Fargo's 0.87%, suggesting that both banks are effectively using their assets to generate earnings, but Citigroup offers a better valuation.

Why Short Wells Fargo (WFC):

Valuation: Wells Fargo's higher P/E ratio of 10.28 suggests that it might be overvalued relative to Citigroup.

Recent Legal Troubles: Wells Fargo is involved in multiple lawsuits, including one that accuses it of raising interest rates artificially on VRDOs (Citigroup accused as well). This could potentially affect investor sentiment and push the stock price down.

Debt-to-Equity Ratio: Although both banks have a significant Debt/Eq ratio, Wells Fargo's stands at 1.44, which is less than Citigroup's 2.77 but comes with a higher valuation, making it less appealing.


Long on 1 C
Short on 1 WFC

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