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Goldman Sachs reports higher trading revenue, shares jump

Goldman Sachs reports higher trading revenue, shares jump
FILE PHOTO: The ticker symbol and logo for Goldman Sachs is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo   -   Copyright  Brendan McDermid(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Goldman Sachs <GS.N> topped analysts’ revenue estimates on Wednesday as stronger equities trading revenue cushioned bond trading losses, making it the only Wall Street bank so far to show growth in fourth-quarter trading revenue.

By contrast, the trading units at JPMorgan Chase <JPM.N> and Citigroup <C.N> took a beating in the fourth quarter, as sharp losses in bond trading outweighed any gains from stocks trading.

At Goldman, which is more sensitive to market fluctuations than its peers, overall trading revenue rose 2 percent in the three months ended December.

Equities trading revenue jumped 17 percent to $1.60 billion (£1.24 billion), while bond trading revenue slid 18 percent to $822 million, far from its peak of more than $6 billion.

Citi’s bond trading revenue fell 21 percent, while JPMorgan saw a 16 percent fall. Equities trading at both banks climbed.

Goldman’s net earnings attributable to common shareholders reached $2.32 billion (£1.66 billion) or $6.04 per share in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $2.14 billion or $5.51 per share a year earlier.

Analysts were looking for a profit of $4.45 per share, according to IBES estimates from Refinitiv, although it was not immediately clear if the numbers were comparable.

The year-ago results included a one-off charge related to a change in U.S. tax laws.

Total net revenue was $8.08 billion, above analysts’ average estimate of $7.63 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Goldman’s shares rose 3.4 percent in early trading on Wednesday. Its shares have fallen 30 percent over the last 12 months, and over 25 percent in the fourth quarter, after headlines about the bank’s involvement in the Malaysian 1MDB scandal emerged.

The company did not provide an update on any expenses related to the scandal in its press statement, but said in its presentation that Chief Executive Officer David Solomon is expected to provide commentary on the matter during a conference call with analysts on Wednesday.

(Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

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