Goldman Sachs Misses Expectations For Q1

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) missed earnings expectations for the first quarter of its fiscal year in a rare fumble for the fifth-largest U.S. bank by assets. Net income almost doubled to $2.26 billion, or $5.15 a share, from $1.14 billion, or $2.68, a year earlier. However, the results were well short of analyst forecasts of $5.31 per share, on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue increased 27 percent to $8.03 billion, compared with the $8.33 billion average estimate of analysts.

Goldman said that the earnings miss was due to weakness in commodities, currencies, and credit revenue, as well as lower commissions and fees from equities trading. Trading revenue, which is Goldman’s biggest contributor to total revenue, fell 2 percent to $3.36 billion in the first quarter. Stock trading dropped 6 percent to $1.67 billion, roughly matching analysts’ $1.63 billion estimate. In previous years, Goldman generated more than $6 billion in quarterly fixed-income trading revenue.

Management had a hard time clarifying what went wrong at Goldman. The results were in sharp contrast to those from JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., and Bank of America Corp., all of which beat estimates due to major trading gains. Revenue from investment banking, investment management and investing and lending all rose in the first quarter, but not enough to offset the sharp decline in trading. Goldman has historically relied more on trading than other big banks.

One of the big problems for Goldman has been the absence of deals. According to Dealogic, mergers and acquisitions volume plunged 55 percent in the first quarter from the previous quarter. Goldman’s fees from advising companies on mergers and acquisitions fell 2 percent to $756 million. The business has also come under pressure from new regulations that restrict what U.S. banks can do.

Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein said in a statement that the bank is “well-positioned” to meet the challenges ahead. The firm has been trying to shift to relatively stable businesses like investment management and lending. Revenue from the investing and lending segment rose to $1.46 billion from $87 million in the first quarter of last year. Assets under supervision fell 0.4 percent from the end of the year to $1.37 trillion.

Goldman’s shares tumbled 4.2 percent to $216.80 after the earnings report was released. Goldman shares are down more than 9 percent in 2017.