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BRIEFLY / EARNINGS

Profit Slides 13% at Goldman Sachs

March 21, 2001|Reuters

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said profit fell 13% in the first quarter to $768 million, or $1.40 a share, as fees for advising companies on stock sales declined in a slumping market. But the results, the first from a securities firm for the latest quarter, were much better than analysts' reduced expectations of $1.29 a share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial. The forecast was revised from $1.35 on March 6, as analysts trimmed estimates for investment banks hurt by gloomy market conditions. Total net revenue rose 5% to $4.73 billion. Investment banking revenue for Goldman, the top seller of new stock offerings in 1999 and 2000, fell 7% as the market for initial public offerings dried up. Merger activity also has slowed this year and the firm said it is looking to cut costs and keep staff numbers at current levels as the economy sags. Net revenue from advising on mergers and acquisitions rose 25%, helping ease the sting of a 36% drop in underwriting revenue. Goldman shares fell $3.88 to close at $87.06 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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