Profit Drops 58%, But Goldman Sachs Still Beats Estimates

Fourth quarter has been for some companies and banks alike a breath of fresh air, but other still had some difficulties to handle. It is the case of Goldman Sachs which even though had a profit reduction of 58 percent it still managed to beat estimates.

According to a press release from the company, fourth quarter net income dropped to $1.01 billion, or $1.84 a share. As a comparison, for the same period last year, Goldman Sachs recorded a $2.39 billion profit, or $3.79. Bloomberg writes that the current earnings have exceeded the $1.23 a share average estimate of 26 analysts.

Financial Times writes that Goldman Sachs, just like many other investment banking competitors, “was hit by ongoing eurozone turmoil and a subsequent slowdown in capital markets in the last three months of 2011”.

In the press release, the company writes that despite having 2011 “characterized by broad market concerns and uncertainty” and “volatile markets”, the results remained solid. As a matter of fact, the company said it sees “encouraging signs” that markets and economies started to improve. All in all, regardless of the fourth quarter earnings, “Goldman Sachs is very well positioned to perform for our clients and our shareholders”.

As a result of the hardships, net revenues in the bank’s investment division dropped by 9 percent, to $4.36 billion in 2011. At the same time, earnings at Goldman Sachs’ s institutional client service unit plummeted to $17.28 billion.

Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive, said: “This past year was dominated by global macroeconomics concerns which significantly affected our clients’ risk tolerance and willingness to transact”.

Back in 2011, Blankfein had to cut costs to keep the bank current and thriving. It cut operating expenses by 21 percent for the year, part of the bank’s strategy to focus on cutting costs and grow in the international market.

Charles Bobrinskoy, vice chairman and director of research at Ariel Investments, told Bloomberg that “there seems to be continued emphasis on cost control and compensation control and that’s a good thing”.

Goldman Sachs isn’t the only big bank in the U.S. to record a reduction in the fourth quarter earnings. JPMorgan Chase & Co announced last week its fourth quarter net income plummeted by 23 percent.

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