New York - Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street bank with the highest return on equity, reported earnings that fell less than analysts expected yesterday as equity underwriting revenue doubled and the firm reduced compensation costs.
Fourth-quarter net income dropped 19 percent to $2.33 billion (R25.3bn), or $4.60 a share, the New York-based company said yesterday. That surpassed the $4.18 average estimate of 25 analysts surveyed.
Chief executive Lloyd Blankfein has said the bank did not need a major strategy change to boost return on equity amid new capital regulations that limit banks’ ability to trade for their own accounts. While its stock jumped 39 percent last year, it was the fourth consecutive year that returns fell below the level achieved in the decade before the financial crisis.
The bank climbed 1.2 percent to $178.75 in New York trading on Wednesday. While the shares have doubled since December 2011, they are still below their pre-crisis peak of $247.92 on October 31, 2007.
The firm has sought to entice investors through buybacks and dividends, returning $11bn to shareholders in 2012 and the first nine months of last year, more than double the combined total of Citigroup, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley.