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Goldman Sachs Is Having a Really Bad Year

April 19, 2016, 12:00 PM UTC
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Goldman Sachs Group Inc. signage is displayed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, U.S., on Thursday, June 2, 2011.
Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

Goldman Sachs Group (GS) profit slumped for the fourth straight quarter as market volatility hit the company’s bond trading and investment banking businesses.

Goldman—the last of the big U.S. banks to release first-quarter results—reported a 56.3% fall in net income applicable to common shareholders to $1.2 billion, or $2.68 per share, for the three months ended March 31.

That compared to $2.75 billion, or $5.94 per share, a year earlier, when the Wall Street bank recorded its best quarterly profit in five years.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $2.45 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It was not immediately clear if the figures reported on Tuesday were comparable.

As with other banks, Goldman’s trading revenue was hit by sliding commodity and oil prices, worries about the Chinese economy, and uncertainty about U.S. interest rates.

Revenue from trading bonds, currencies and commodities (FICC) fell about 47% to $1.66 billion, accounting for 26.2% of total revenue in the quarter—a far cry from the 40% the business regularly contributed before the financial crisis.

Goldman’s traditional rival, Morgan Stanley (MS), reported on Monday a 54% drop in adjusted revenue from fixed income and commodities trading and a similar drop in net profit.