Goldman Sachs beats despite trading woes

Goldman Sachs on Wednesday released results from its fourth quarter, beating analyst expectations with adjusted earnings of $US5.68 a share.

Wall Street analysts had been expecting adjusted earnings of $US4.90 a share.

Like the other big banks, Goldman Sachs took a hit from the recently enacted tax law. The bank took a hit of $US4.40 billion in the fourth quarter related to the tax legislation.

JPMorgan reported a $US2.4 billion fourth-quarter loss because of the new tax law, and Citigroup reported a $US22 billion loss. The CEOs of each firm nonetheless praised the potential long-term benefits of the law.

Here are the key numbers:

  • Revenue of $US7.83 billion, ahead of $US7.6 billion expected.
  • The bank hauled in $US2.14 billion in investment-banking revenue in the fourth quarter, up 44% year-on-year and 19% quarter-on-quarter. The bank said its dealmaking backlog increased compared with that of the third quarter.
  • The Institutional Client Services group, which houses equity and fixed-income trading, posted $US2.37 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter, down more than a third year-over-year and 24% from the third quarter.
  • The bank said both the equities and fixed-income units “continued to operate in a challenging environment characterised by low levels of volatility and low client activity.”
  • Both the investment and lending business and the asset-management business posted increases in revenue, with the two units delivering $US1.66 billion in revenue each.
  • Nonadjusted net income showed a loss of $US2.14 billion, a smaller loss than the $US2.35 billion loss expected.

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