Goldman Sachs revenues rise despite trading slowdown

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Revenue at Goldman Sachs rose in the second quarter as a forecast-beating performance in its asset management unit made up for a slowdown in the trading bonanza that had boosted the Wall Street bank’s earnings in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Goldman’s total revenues were $15.4bn, up 16 per cent from a year ago and ahead of analysts’ forecasts of $12.4bn, according to consensus data compiled by Bloomberg.

Earnings per share were $15.02, up from $0.53 the same quarter last year, when Goldman set aside $1.59bn of provisions for potential loan losses stemming from the Covid-19 crisis. Analysts had forecast earnings of $10.14 per share for this quarter.

Helping to drive the earnings beat was Goldman’s asset management business, which houses its fund for private equity investments. The division reported revenues of $5.1bn, up 144 per cent from a year ago and well ahead of forecasts for $2.8bn.

Fees earned in investment banking rose thanks to a surge in merger and acquisition activity. Revenues in its investment banking unit were $3.6bn, up 36 per cent year on year and ahead of analysts’ estimates of $3.1bn.

However revenue at Goldman’s markets business fell 32 per cent year-on-year to $4.9bn in the second quarter as the vaccine rollout boosted investor confidence in the US economy and tamed market volatility. Analysts had forecast revenues of $5bn.