Goldman Posts Surprise Rise in Earnings

By Liz Hoffman and Peter Rudegeair Features Dow Jones Newswires

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said its third-quarter profit rose to $2.13 billion, beating analyst expectations despite a slowdown in its core business of trading.

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The Wall Street firm reported earnings of $5.02 a share. Revenue of $8.33 billion was up from $8.17 billion a year ago and beat analyst expectations of $7.54 billion.

Analysts had expected earnings of $4.17 a share, down from $4.88 a year ago. Goldman was the only big U.S. bank analysts thought would make less money than it did a year ago, largely because it lacks the big lending and consumer businesses that have buoyed larger rivals this earnings season.

Even with its recent forays into lending, the firm run by Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein still makes most of its money arranging big, complex trades and deals for corporate and institutional clients. Demand for those services has been slowing.

Rivals including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. also reported declines in trading businesses last week, but they were offset by gains in other businesses such as commercial lending and credit cards.

Goldman's return on equity, a key measure of how profitably it invests shareholders' money, stood at 10.9% in the quarter.

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Last month, Goldman laid out a plan to revive its core trading arm and add $4 billion of revenue in other business, in large part by focusing on lending.

Write to Liz Hoffman at liz.hoffman@wsj.com and Peter Rudegeair at Peter.Rudegeair@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 17, 2017 07:59 ET (11:59 GMT)