Investment Banking

Goldman Sachs Hit Hard By Headwinds

First-quarter earnings fell year over year, and revenue declined in many of the bank's business units.
Katie Kuehner-HebertApril 19, 2016

Goldman Sachs’ first-quarter profit was hit hard due to “headwinds across virtually every one of our businesses,” chief executive Lloyd Blankfein said in a press release.

The New York City-based investment banking company on Tuesday reported net revenues of $6.34 billion and net earnings of $1.14 billion, or $2.68 per share, for the first quarter. A year earlier net earnings were $2.84 billion, or $5.94 a share.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters projected Goldman Sachs would earn $2.45 a share on revenue of $6.73 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods wrote in a note that trading results were worse than expected, falling 48% instead of the 45% that the analysts had expected. However, investment banking revenues were $1.5 billion, higher than the $1.26 billion estimate.

“Better [investment banking] revenues were a positive, but our forecast for IB revenues may be too high given the weak start to the year, so there could be pressure on our forward earnings estimates as a result,” the analysts wrote. “Overall, GS’ results verify that 1Q16 was a very challenging quarter for investment banks.”

Revenues for institutional client services, investing and lending, and investment management also fell year over year. Operating expenses were $4.76 billion, 29% lower than the first quarter of 2015.

Goldman shares have declined nearly 12% since the start of 2016, worse than the 8% fall in the KBW Nasdaq Bank index of large commercial lenders over the same period, according to the WSJ.