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Goldman Sachs profit drops 19% in fourth quarter

January 16, 2014|By Andrew Tangel
  • Goldman Sachs Group headquarters in New York.
Goldman Sachs Group headquarters in New York. (Ron Antonelli / Bloomberg )

NEW YORK -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit fell 19% as the Wall Street powerhouse endured a slowdown in bond, commodities and currency trading.

Goldman reported earnings of $2.3 billion, or $4.60 a share, down from $2.9 billion, or $5.60, the same period in the prior year.

The investment bank's results nevertheless beat Wall Street expectations: Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted $4.21 in per-share earnings last quarter.

QUIZ: Do you remember the biggest business news stories of 2013?

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman's chairman and chief executive, said the bank performed well despite a "somewhat challenging environment."

“We believe that we are well positioned to generate solid returns as the economy continues to heal and provide considerable upside for our shareholders as conditions materially improve," Blankfein said in a statement.

Despite the slowdown in trading, Goldman saw a surge in revenue from raising capital for its clients. Net revenues from its investment banking unit rose 22% to $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter, lifted by a boom in equity underwriting.

Goldman also saw modest growth in revenue from its investment management unit as well as the firm's own investments.

For all of 2013, the investment bank's profit rose to $7.7 billion, up 6% from $7.3 billion in 2012.

The firm's annual revenue was essentially flat at $34 billion, while expenses dipped to $$22.5 billion.

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