The Goldman Sachs Manhattan headquarters stands in Manhattan, New York City, New York, US. File photo: GETTY IMAGES/SPENCER PLATT
The Goldman Sachs Manhattan headquarters stands in Manhattan, New York City, New York, US. File photo: GETTY IMAGES/SPENCER PLATT

New York — Goldman Sachs 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 and Citigroup 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% in the three months ended December.

Equities trading revenue jumped 17% to $1.60bn, while bond trading revenue slid 18% to $822m, far from its peak of more than $6bn.

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

Goldman's net earnings attributable to common shareholders reached $2.32bn or $6.04 per share in the three months ended December 31, compared with a loss of $2.14bn 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 US tax laws.

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

Goldman’s shares rose 3.4% in early trading on Wednesday. Its shares have fallen 30%  over the last 12 months, and more than 25% 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 CEO David Solomon is expected to provide commentary on the matter during a conference call with analysts..

Reuters