Goldman Sachs earnings fall on trading, equity drop

Goldman Sachs reported lower third-quarter earnings Thursday due to weakness in some trading divisions and the hit to the company’s equity holdings from the stock market pullback.

Earnings for the quarter ending September 30 were $1.4 billion, down 36.4 percent from the year-ago period. Revenues were down 18.2 percent at $6.86 billion.

“We experienced lower levels of activity and declining asset prices during the quarter, reflecting renewed concerns about global economic growth,” said Goldman Sachs chief executive LLoyd Blankfein.

Net revenues in Goldman’s fixed income, currency and commodity trading division plunged 33 percent from the year-ago level, falling victim to the same trend of reduced activity due to intense market volatility.

Goldman cited the big decrease in global equity valuations as a factor in lower revenues from its investing and lending segments. The third quarter was the worst for the US stock market in four years.

These weaker areas were offset somewhat by gains in equity trading and a big jump in financial advisory revenues, as merger and acquisition activity remained solid.

Goldman also notched higher non-compensation expenses, due in part to higher provisions for litigation.

Earnings translated into $2.90 per share, a penny below analyst expectations.

Shares of Goldman dipped 0.9 percent to $177.89 in pre-market trade.

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