Banking & Finance

Litigation Costs Weigh on Goldman Sachs Stock After Earnings

Paul Ausick

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 results before markets opened Wednesday. The investment bank reported diluted quarterly earnings per share (EPS) of $4.69 on net revenue of $9.96 billion. In the same period a year ago, the bank reported EPS of $6.04 on revenue of $8.08 billion. Fourth-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $5.47 on revenue of $8.51 billion.

For the full fiscal year, Goldman reported revenues of $36.55 billion and EPS of $21.03, compared to 2018 revenues of $36.62 billion and EPS of $25.27. Analysts had been looking for EPS of $21.75 and revenues of $35.07 billion. The bank noted that annual earnings included a $3.16 per share charge ($1.1 billion) related to litigation.

Fourth-quarter revenues were up 23% year over year, but diluted EPS was down 22%. For the full year, revenues were flat and EPS fell by 17%.

Book value per common share ended the year essentially flat at $218.52, and annualized return on equity for the year came in at 10%. Net income fell by 20% to $7.9 billion. For the quarter, net income fell by 26% year over year to $1.72 billion.

Investment banking revenues fell 6% compared with the fourth quarter of last year and 7% annually. Fixed income revenues rose 33% on a quarter-over-quarter basis and 2% for the year. Trading revenue was up 33% in the quarter and 2% year over year. Asset management revenues rose by 52% for the quarter and 1% for the year, while consumer and wealth management revenues were up 8% in the quarter and 1% for the year.

The firm’s effective tax rate rose from 16.2% in 2018 to 20% for 2019. Goldman expects its 2020 effective tax rate to rise to 21%.

The bank did not offer guidance in its press release, but the consensus estimates call for first-quarter EPS of $6.16 on revenues of $9.45 billion. The EPS forecast for the 2020 fiscal year is $23.99 on revenues of $36.2 billion.

Shares traded down about 0.7% in the premarket Wednesday to $244.00, having closed on Tuesday at $245.66. The current 52-week range is $180.73 to $248.52. The consensus 12-month price target was $259.00 before results were announced.