Goldman Sachs stock was up over 5% on Tuesday despite reporting a loss for the third quarter.
Now everyone’s joking that Goldman knows when to report a loss. The only other time Goldman did was in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Another thing that’s an indicator of how bad it is at Goldman this year because it’s being referred to as good news is hiding in the firm’s ugly looking compensation numbers.
The 8k report spells out the ugly compensation numbers this year:
The accrual for compensation and benefits expenses (including salaries, estimated year-end discretionary compensation, amortization of equity awards and other items such as benefits) was $1.58 billion for the third quarter of 2011, a 59% decline compared with the third quarter of 2010. The ratio of compensation and benefits to net revenues for the first nine months of 2011 was 44.0%. Total staff levels decreased 4% compared with the end of the second quarter of 2011.
But then CNN points out that in a way, this is good news for Goldman employees, because Goldman actually set aside a slightly smaller percentage of revenue — 43% — in 3Q 2010.
And the Daily Beast points out that even though the $10 billion Goldman set aside for compensation this year lags last year’s pool by 24% — the company’s profits per share through the first nine months of the year were down more than 70% compared with 2010. And Goldman’s stock since the start of the year has fallen by 43%.
So all in all, they’re saying, it’s not that bad. We guess it’s good news that Goldman is so dedicated to paying its employees a little less than half its revenues that it laid off a bunch of people last quarter, and plans to lay off about 500 more.
But another number CNN gives says it is that bad. The average Goldman employee will take home $290,000 in 2011 vs $370,000 in 2010.