Goldman Sachs just a posted stellar set of first quarter results

Jessica Morris
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Wall Street's best known bank had a stonking first quarter (Source: Getty)

Investment bank Goldman Sachs kicked off earnings season Stateside with a strong set of first quarter results, thanks to a flurry of trading by its fixed-income and currencies desks.

The bank beat expectations with earnings of $2.75bn (£1.84bn), or $5.94 per share, in the three months to March. Analysts polled by Reuters had been expecting $4.26 per share.

The gains were driven by revenue from trading in its fixed income, currencies and commodities divisions which rose 10 percent to $3.13bn. This comprised 30 percent of total net revenue which rose 14 per cent to $10.62bn.

The figures validate arguments by Goldman's chief exec Lloyd Blankfein, who has repeatedly asserted the bank should stay in fixed-income and commodity trading, at a time when rivals like Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse are abandoning it. Extremely low global commodity prices have made it increasingly difficult to make a profit here.

Its investment banking division had its best quarterly performance since 2007. Profit rose 7.1 per cent to $1.91 billion, which was up from $1.78 billion from this period a year earlier.

And overall gains helped the bank to its highest quarterly earnings since the first quarter of 2010.

The need for weighty balance sheets in the wake of the global financial crisis, alongside greater regulatory scrutiny, has led commentators to argue the days of huge global investment banks are numbered. However today's results suggest Wall Street giants won't go without a fight.

Shares in the company were trading up 1.7 per cent at 201 cents per share in New York today.

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