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FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, file photo, the logo for Goldman Sachs appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reports earnings Tuesday, April 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
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Goldman Sachs’ profits miss forecasts as trading struggled

FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, file photo, the logo for Goldman Sachs appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reports earnings Tuesday, April 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Goldman Sachs had a rare miss in its first quarter results, the bank said Tuesday, as its typically best-in-class trading desks did not perform as well as its competitors. The poor results caused the bank’s stock to fall sharply.

The New York-based investment bank earned $2.16 billion compared with $1.2 billion in the same period a year earlier. On a per-share basis, Goldman Sachs earned $5.15 a share versus $2.68 a share in the same period a year earlier. But Goldman’s results were well below the $5.31 a share expected by analysts, according to FactSet.

In a statement, Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein called the quarter “mixed” and that client activity was “challenged.”

Goldman’s trading desks struggled in the first quarter, a sharp contrast to its competitors who all reported gains in trading last quarter and set investors’ expectations that Goldman would perform just as well or better. While Goldman trades nearly every kind of financial instrument on Wall Street, its strongest traders are in commodities and currencies, both of which had wild swings this quarter that could have resulted in the miss.

The bank’s trading division had net revenue of $3.36 billion in the first quarter, down 2 percent from a year earlier and down 7 percent from the fourth quarter. Trading revenues in bonds, currencies and commodities was effectively flat in quarter while trading revenues for stocks were down 6 percent from a year earlier.

Goldman’s investment banking business grew profits in the quarter, but its growth was not all the different from its competition. Investment banking net revenue was $1.7 billion in the quarter, up 16 percent from a year earlier. Underwriting revenue rose 37 percent from a year earlier.

The bank also made $1.46 billion in its investing and lending business in the quarter, a sharp increase from the $87 million it made in the same period a year earlier. However that part of Goldman’s business tends to swing up and down as the bank sells investments or puts new valuations on those investments.

Firm-wide, the bank’s had net revenue of $8.03 billion compared with $6.34 billion in the same period a year earlier. That also missed analysts’ expectations of $8.37 billion.

Goldman Sachs’s stock dropped $9.88, or 4.4 percent, to $216.36.

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