Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) shares rose on Wednesday after the firm posted fourth-quarter profits that beat Wall Street’s expectations as its merger bankers bailed out bond traders, who continued to struggle, as per The Wall Street Journal.
The bank generated a profit of USD 2.54 Billion, or USD 6.04 a share for the fourth quarter of 2018. This was higher than the estimated USD 1.64 Billion, or USD 4.27 a share, predicted by analysts polled by Refinitiv. Quarterly revenue was USD 8.1 Billion. Goldman’s shares rose 4% in early trading Wednesday.
According to CNBC, while analysts had feared that failing markets late last year would punish Goldman’s trading and investing divisions, the bank demonstrated that its relationship-based business and areas with relatively more recurring revenues were gaining in prominence.
The bank posted revenues USD 2.04 Billion in revenues in its investment banking division, better than the USD 1.88 Billion estimates. Goldman Sachs is Wall Street’s pre-eminent mergers adviser, and the firm cited an increase in completed deals in the quarter, as stated by CNBC.
It is the first quarter of results for Goldman’s Chief Executive Officer David Solomon, who took over as Goldman’s Chief Executive Officer Oct 1. He will speak on a conference with analysts Wednesday morning. Solomon is expected to defend Goldman against allegations that it enabled fraud at a Malaysian investment fund.
“We are pleased with our performance for the year, achieving strong top and bottom line results despite a challenging backdrop for our market-making business in the second half,” Solomon said in a statement. “We are confident that we are well positioned to support an even larger universe of clients, continue to diversify our revenue mix and deliver strong returns for our shareholders in the years ahead,” he later added.
In October, Goldman’s Chief Financial Officer Stephen Scherr said the firm was undertaking a “front-to-back” review of the Company’s four main divisions to boost shareholders returns. So, investors will want to hear if there are any early results from that effort, as well as guidance on 2019 targets and progress on a previously disclosed USD 5 Billion revenue project.