Goldman Sachs Profit Tumbles 53 Percent

January 19, 2011 Updated: January 19, 2011

The world's biggest investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reported this week that its fourth-quarter earnings tumbled by 53 percent. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
The world's biggest investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reported this week that its fourth-quarter earnings tumbled by 53 percent. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
NEW YORK—The world’s biggest investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reported this week that its fourth-quarter earnings tumbled by 53 percent.

Goldman, which weathered the financial crisis better than most banks, still accepted a $10 billion government loan as well as a $5 billion investment from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

Goldman’s stock (NYSE: GS) fell 3 percent in Wednesday afternoon trading to close at $169.48 after the bank said that trading revenues tumbled especially in the fourth quarter.

“Market and economic conditions for much of 2010 were difficult,” said Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein in a statement. “Looking ahead, we are seeing signs of growth and more economic activity.”

Earnings per share came in at $3.79 for the year, well below last year’s $8.20 per share, and below Wall Street analysts’ estimates.

Investment banking fees in the fourth quarter declined to $1.5 billion from $1.7 billion in the same quarter in 2009.

American Express Cuts Jobs, Restructures

Credit card issuer American Express Co. said on Wednesday that it is shifting 3,500 personnel in an effort to restructure its global business and roughly 550 employees would be laid off as a result.

The company said that fourth-quarter results, net of the restructuring charge, would be $1.1 billion, almost a 50 percent increase from 2009’s figures. The news sent American Express’s stock down 3 percent on Wednesday afternoon.

“The company’s decision reflects an overall decline in service volumes as more and more routine transactions have migrated to online and mobile channels,” said American Express in a statement.