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Goldman Sachs slashes expenses; earnings flat at $1.52 billion

October 17, 2013|By Andrew Tangel
  • The Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York.
The Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York. (Mark Lennihan / Associated…)

NEW YORK -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reported flat third-quarter profit as the financial giant slashed expenses and endured a slump in trading revenue.

Goldman posted $1.52 billion in net income, or $2.88 a share, compared to $1.51 billion, or $2.85, in the third quarter last year.

The New York firm's results beat the $2.43-per-share earnings expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

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Net revenue declined by 20% year-over-year to $6.72 billion. Goldman's investment banking business was flat and it saw a slight rise in investment management revenue.

But the bank saw a 44% drop in revenue from trading in bonds, currency and commodities. The bank cited "economic uncertainty, difficult market-making conditions in certain businesses and lower levels of activity."

Other major Wall Street firms, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., have reported a slowdown in fixed-income trading.

"The third quarter’s results reflected a period of slow client activity," Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive said in a statement.

"As longer term U.S. budget issues are resolved," Blankfein added, "we could see an improvement in corporate and investor sentiment that would help lay the basis for a more sustained recovery.”

To maintain its bottom line, Goldman reduced costs by 25% to $4.56 billion in the third quarter. Compensation expenses fell 35%, though its total staff increased 3% from the third quarter last year.

Goldman's shares fell $4.44, or 3%, to $157.81 in pre-market trading on Wall Street.

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