Goldman Sachs Reports Surprise Profit Increase

By Liz Hoffman Features Dow Jones Newswires

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reported a surprise increase in second-quarter profit despite tough conditions in its core trading businesses.

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The Wall Street firm reported earnings of $3.95 a share. Analysts had expected $3.39, on average, down from $3.72 a year ago. Revenue of $7.89 billion fell from $7.93 billion in the second quarter of last year, and beat analyst expectations of $7.52 billion.

Rivals including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. reported declines in trading businesses last week. But those were partially offset by gains in other businesses such as commercial lending. Earlier Tuesday, Bank of America Corp. reported better-than-expected results.

For all Goldman's changes since the financial crisis, the firm run by Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein is still heavily dependent on arranging big, complex trades and deals for corporate and institutional clients. Demand for those services has flagged as placid markets have churned higher and companies have delayed some deals, awaiting signs from Washington on tax and regulatory reform.

Goldman's return on equity, a key measure of how profitably it invests shareholders' money, stood at 8.7% in the quarter. Goldman is one of few banks that has reliably exceeded 10% -- a level typically demanded by investors -- since the crisis.

Write to Liz Hoffman at liz.hoffman@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 18, 2017 07:56 ET (11:56 GMT)