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Goldman Sachs posts huge Q4 earnings beat, boosted by trading and banking

Julia La Roche
·Correspondent
·2-min read

Goldman Sachs (GS) posted fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday that surpassed Wall Street’s estimates by a mile, as revenues jumped 18% from a year ago, driven by strength in equities trading and investment banking that defied the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here were the key figures versus expectations for the fourth quarter, according to analysts.

  • EPS: $12.08 vs. $7.47 expected

  • Net revenues: $11.74 billion vs. $10.07 billion expected

During the quarter, Goldman’s investment bank posted record revenues of $2.61 billion, up 27% from the same period a year ago on higher activity in underwriting and financial advisory. For the full year, the banking giant’s net revenues hit $44.6 billion, its highest net revenues since 2009.

Goldman’s results come in the wake of JPMorgan Chase’s strong quarterly results, and set the tone for the rest of the bulge bracket that reports this week.

“We hope this year brings much needed stability and a respite from the pandemic, but we remain ready to handle a wide range of outcomes and are poised to meet the needs of our clients,” Goldman CEO David Solomon said in the release.

The strength in stock trading also bolstered the firm’s bottom line, with net revenues in global markets hitting $4.27 billion in the quarter, up 23% from a year ago. FICC trading revenues rose 6% to $1.88 billion, while net revenues in equities jumped 40% from a year ago, to $2.39 billion.

The consumer and wealth management business posted net revenues of $1.65 billion, up 17% from the prior year. Wealth management revenues hit $1.31 billion, while net revenues in consumer banking came in at $347 million, up 52% from last year on higher deposit and credit card loan balances.

Like the other banks, Goldman has set aside provisions for credit losses. The firm put $293 million aside in the fourth quarter, down 13% from the same period a year ago, but 5% higher than the prior quarter.

Shares of Goldman Sachs were last trading up 1.41%, or $4.24, near $305.41 in the pre-market.

Julia La Roche is a correspondent for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.