For Goldman Sachs, No Bad News Is Good News After a Brutal Stretch

In what at this point counts as merry news for a thrashed Wall Street giant, Goldman Sachs on Tuesday reported a quarterly profit that came in just above expectations, suggesting that the bank may be on track to extricate itself from its consumer-lending woes.

The bank’s third-quarter profit fell about a third from a year earlier, to $2.1 billion, though that drop was expected. Trading revenue stayed steady, an encouraging sign given the slowdown in such activities across Wall Street in face of a potential recession. “We’re confident that the work we’re doing now provides us a much stronger platform for 2024,” the bank’s chief executive, David M. Solomon, said in a statement.

It has been a year to forget for Goldman and Mr. Solomon. The bank continues to write off losses from its money losing effort to build a Main Street-focused operation, an initiative that began under Goldman’s prior chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and accelerated under Mr. Solomon.

Mr. Solomon has contended with what amounts to a staff revolt, by the buttoned-up standards of a Wall Street bank, as scores of prominent partners have departed and others have complained about his unyielding management style.

Last week, Goldman made good on its promise to offload at a steep loss a “buy now, pay later” firm, GreenSky, that it had bought less than two years ago.

Other banks that have reported third-quarter earnings have shown off a smooth ride. On Tuesday, Bank of America reported a 10 percent rise in profit. Last week, JPMorgan Chase reported a quarterly profit jump of 35 percent, while Wells Fargo and Citigroup beat analyst expectations.

Goldman’s stock was flat in premarket trading after the release of the quarterly results. Shares are down 9 percent this year and off roughly 25 percent from the record high set in 2021.


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