Goldman Sachs shares rise as earnings blow past the Street on the best trading results in years

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David Solomon, CEO, Goldman Sachs, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 23, 2020.

Adam Galacia | CNBC

Goldman Sachs reported second-quarter earnings before the opening bell Wednesday.

The bank earned $6.26 a share in the second quarter, blowing past the Wall Street estimate, on revenue of $13.3 billion.

Revenue was 41% more than a year ago and the firm’s second highest quarterly revenue ever. Trading drove the gains with fixed income revenue coming in at $4.24 billion, the highest in 9 years. Equities trading revenue was $2.94 billion, the best quarter in 11 years.

Investment banking revenue was a record $2.66 billion.

Goldman shares jumped 2% after the results in premarket trading.

The firm also said it set aside another $1.59 billion for potential credit losses due to the coronavirus.

Here’s what Wall Street expected:

Earnings: $3.78 per share, a 35% decline from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv.

Revenue: $9.75 billion, 3% higher than a year earlier.

Trading Revenue: Fixed income: $2.53 billion; equities: $2.04 billion.

Investment banking revenue: $2.1 billion. 

Could this be Goldman’s moment?

Expectations for CEO David Solomon’s bank are running high after JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup posted strong trading and advisory results that helped the banks beat profit estimates for the second quarter.

Of the six largest U.S. banks, Goldman gets the biggest share of its revenue from Wall Street activities including trading and investment banking. For the past few years that has been a detriment to the firm, as retail banking fueled by cheap consumer deposits has driven the industry’s record profits.

Now, in the midst of a recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Goldman’s model may prove to be an advantage. Firms with vast consumer lending operations are now exposed to billions of dollars in potential defaults, and the drag has already caused Wells Fargo to post its first quarterly loss since the financial crisis.

But surging volatility and unprecedented steps taken by the Federal Reserve to support credit markets have created the best environment for trading and advising on debt and equity issuance in years. At JPMorgan, for instance, trading and investment banking both notched record highs in the second quarter.

Goldman has been in advanced negotiations to settle its 1MDB scandal for about $2 billion since late last year. One holdup has been the New York-based bank’s efforts to avoid entering into a guilty plea for its role in the episode, according to reports.

Goldman shares have fallen 7% this year, compared with the 36% decline of the KBW Bank Index. 

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.