Goldman Sachs Grapples with Q2 Earnings Shortfall: A Tough Act to Follow?


Simpler Trading Team

Jul 19th 2023  .  3 min read

Wednesday unveiled a surprising turn of events for Goldman Sachs, the banking giant failing to meet analysts’ expectations for its second-quarter earnings. This underperformance is largely attributed to considerable losses from its fintech unit GreenSky and significant commercial real estate write-downs.

Goldman Sachs disclosed a second-quarter earnings of $3.08 per share, trailing behind the anticipated $3.18 per share. This shortfall is closely tied to a $504 million impairment linked to GreenSky and $485 million in real estate write-downs. The bank’s second-quarter profits dropped 58% to $1.22 billion, due to steep declines in trading and investment banking, coupled with losses tied to GreenSky and real estate investments. This fall led to an 8% decrease in revenue, resting at $10.9 billion.

Goldman Sachs CEO, David Solomon, confronts a challenging climate, with persistent downturns in investment banking and trading activity. However, Solomon expresses optimism, stating, “This quarter reflects continued strategic execution of our goals. I remain fully confident that continued execution will enable us to deliver on our through-the-cycle return targets and create significant value for shareholders.” Sachs’ earnings reflect the risks of its heavy dependence on volatile Wall Street activities. Meanwhile, Solomon’s efforts to retract from consumer banking have been costly, as evidenced by a weak 4.4% return on average tangible common shareholder equity in the quarter.

Despite the gloomy figures, Solomon observes emerging signs of life in investment banking, citing improved activity in mergers and equity capital markets. However, other sectors were less promising: fixed income trading revenue fell 26% to $2.71 billion, while investment banking fees decreased by 20%.

The future presents further challenges. Even after absorbing the quarterly hit on GreenSky, a remaining $625 million in intangible value could be marked down in future quarters, a situation that could further impact Goldman’s performance.

Before Wednesday’s announcement, Goldman Sachs’ shares had seen a near 2% decline this year, compared to the KBW Bank Index’s approximately 18% slump. The banking titan remains committed to evolving its operations amid ongoing economic shifts, maintaining its resilience and, ultimately, its status as a leader on Wall Street.

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