Goldman Sachs Group Inc posted a 72 percent drop in first-quarter profit to shareholders as it made less money from trading bonds for clients. The largest U.S. investment bank posted a profit to common shareholders of $908 million, or $1.56 per share, compared with $3.3 billion, or $5.59 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.
Following is a selection of initial comments by analysts:
JOERG RAHN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER , MARCARD, STEIN & CO, HAMBURG
These are good results. Yes, expectations weren't gigantic but they were beat nevertheless. As an investment bank, Goldman is a good indicator for the global M&A and IPO markets so overall this is encouraging going forward.
MATT MCCORMICK, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, BAHL & GAYNOR INVESTMENT COUNSEL, CINCINATTI
It looks like Goldman had a good beat. It puts them up in the category of JPMorgan Chase. My guess is they'll be rewarded for it today as the market looks for a bit of a snapback for financials. The decline in fixed-income trading revenue was a little bit higher than I expected, because I expected Goldman Sachs to be the best in class on that issue, but all their other peers seem to be facing the same challenges. I don't think the market will focus on that.
PETER CARDILLO, CHIEF MARKET ECONOMIST, AVALON PARTNERS, NEW YORK
Goldman Sachs is a bellwether and these numbers will probably begin to calm some of the fears that the market has been worried about. It should help alleviate some of the fears and we could regain some of yesterday's losses.
GARY TOWNSEND, CEO, HILL-TOWNSEND CAPITAL, CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND
Townsend said Goldman's toughest problem going forward would be its relationship with the U.S. government: The government seems interested in diminishing franchise value. The report from (Senator Carl) Levin is just the most recent example.
MICHAEL NIX, CO-CHIEF INVESTTMENT OFFICER, GREENWOOD CAPITAL ASSOCIATES, GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA
The numbers are pretty good I guess. They executed fairly well during the quarter. But if you look back three weeks ago, the consensus estimate was around $3.80 a share. That's pretty significant compression of earnings expectations over the last few weeks, and I wonder whether people pushed that down a little bit too far. I think you have to take these numbers with a little bit of a grain of salt. I hate to get too excited when the reality is this would have been a significant earnings miss a couple weeks ago.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz, Maria Aspan, Angela Moon, Clare Baldwin and Joe Rauch)