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Jul 17, 2018

Goldman trading rebound falls short while Blankfein era winds down

Goldman Sachs 2Q Investment Banking Revenue Tops Estimates

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s trading bounce-back didn’t live up to expectations.

While fixed-income trading revenue surged in the second quarter, the equities unit posted a surprise drop, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Shares of the company declined 1 per cent in early trading at 7:46 a.m. in New York.

The equities performance contrasted with Wall Street rivals, who each reported gains in that business of at least 17 per cent. Still the fixed-income increase represents a rebound from a forgettable 2017, when the trading business posted its worst performance of Lloyd Blankfein’s tenure as chief executive officer.

Also Tuesday, Goldman Sachs named company President David Solomon as Blankfein’s successor as CEO effective Oct. 1.

“Solid performance across all of our major businesses drove the strongest first-half returns in nine years,” Blankfein said in the statement. “With a healthy economic backdrop and deep client franchises, the firm is well-positioned to invest in attractive opportunities to meet the needs of our clients and continue to generate earnings growth.”

The firm posted $2.05 billion in investment-banking revenue, compared with the average estimate of $1.85 billion among analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Goldman Sachs has been making a push to expand the number of companies it covers and setting up outposts in different parts of the country to snag new clients.

Here’s a quick summary of key numbers from the results:

-Net income surged 40 per cent to US$2.57 billion, or US$5.98 a share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for adjusted earnings of US$4.66 a share.

-Companywide revenue advanced 19 per cent to US$9.4 billion, compared with the US$8.76 billion estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

-Goldman Sachs’s debt-underwriting revenue increased 14 per cent to US$1.55 billion.

--With assistance from Emma Kinery