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Fitch: Challenging Market Environment Impacts Goldman's 3Q15 Results
October 15, 2015 / 5:38 PM / in 2 years

Fitch: Challenging Market Environment Impacts Goldman's 3Q15 Results

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) CHICAGO, October 15 (Fitch) Goldman Sachs Group's (GS) third quarter 2015 (3Q15) reported earnings were impacted by a challenging market environment, according to Fitch Ratings. In particular, revenue from Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities (FICC) was down. The company's annualized return on average equity (ROE) was 7.0% in 3Q15 and 8.8% for the first nine months of the year. These returns include net litigation charges of $416 million in 3Q15, $1.45 billion in 2Q15, and $190 million in 1Q15. Fitch calculated pre-tax profits which exclude CVA/DVA adjustments and various other gains/losses amounted to $1.9 billion, or a 0.85% adjusted pre-tax return on ending assets. From a core business perspective even adjusting for the litigation charges incurred over the last two quarters, GS' adjusted pre-tax return is below the returns in prior quarters. While GS has a strong franchise as evidenced by market share positioning in league tables, in Fitch's view this quarter's results also continue to reflect the inherent cyclicality of the company's activities. These offsetting dynamics are reflected in GS' ratings and Stable Outlook. The company's FICC business was down during the quarter with net revenue decreasing 9% from the sequential quarter and 33% from the year-ago quarter as a challenging market environment and comparatively low levels of client activity impacted these businesses. The Equities business was more mixed with net revenues down 12% from the sequential quarter but up 9% from the year-ago quarter. Nevertheless, overall net revenue in GS' Institutional Client Services (ICS) business was down 11% from the sequential quarter and 15% from the year-ago quarter. Results in Investment Banking (IB) were more mixed with net revenues down 23% from the sequential quarter but up 6% from the year ago quarter. Net revenues in financial advisory were down 1% from the sequential quarter but up 36% from the year-ago quarter. Underwriting results were more challenging with equity underwriting net revenues down 68% from the sequential quarter and 55% from the year-ago quarter. Debt underwriting net revenues were down 8% from the sequential quarter but up 25% from the year-ago quarter due to higher activities in both investment grade and leveraged finance activities. Investment management (IM) net revenues were down 14% from the sequential quarter and 3% from the year-ago quarter primarily due to significantly lower incentive fees on the quarter. Management fees, the largest component of IM net revenues, were down 3% from the sequential quarter and flat relative to the year-ago quarter. Total Assets Under Supervision (AUS) in IM continued to grow to $1.2 trillion as the impact of lower markets was offset by growth due in part to the acquisition of Pacific Global Advisors' solutions business. Helping to support GS' earnings this quarter was good expense management during the quarter. In particular, GS' compensation and benefits ratio has continued to trend down. In Fitch's view, GS' capital ratios and liquidity metrics remain good. The company's fully phased-in Basel III Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio under the standardized approach (GS' binding constraint) was 11.7% at 3Q15 and under the advanced approach was 11.9%. Additionally, GS' Global Core Liquid Assets (GCLA) was $193 billion at the end of 3Q15, up from $189 billion at the end of the sequential quarter. Contact: Justin Fuller, CFA Senior Director +1-312-368-2057 Fitch Ratings, Inc. 70 W. Madison Street Chicago, IL 60602 Nathan Flanders Managing Director +1-212-908-1872 Media Relations: Hannah James, New York, Tel: + 1 212 908 0500, Email: hannah.james@fitchratings.com. Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

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