Goldman hit by third quarter loss

Goldman Sachs has posted a $428m net loss in the third quarter, only its second-ever quarterly loss as a public company, hurt by sharp declines in the value of investment securities and customer trading assets.

The biggest investment bank in the US saw revenues slump 60 per cent to $3.6bn, from $8.9bn in the third quarter of 2010 and $7.3bn in the second quarter, as its investment banking revenues dropped by a third.

Investment banking revenues were just $781m, down from $1.2bn a year earlier and $1.5bn in the second quarter.

“CEO and investor confidence as well as asset prices across markets were lower in the third quarter given the uncertain macroeconomic and market conditions. Our results were significantly impacted by the environment and we were disappointed to record a loss in the quarter,” said chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.

Goldman’s private client division, which sees far steadier revenues, held up better, losing 13 per cent of revenues to $4.1bn in the quarter compared with 2010.

Its investing and lending division posted a $2.5bn loss, down from a $1.8bn profit a year earlier.

Goldman lost 84 cents per share, compared with earnings of $2.98 per share a year earlier.

Analysts had been expecting, on average, a loss of 16 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.