Goldman's earnings were buoyed by sharp year-over-year revenue gains in the bank's debt and equity underwriting units, which drove overall investment banking revenue higher by 36% to $1.57 billion.
The firm's investment banking unit outperformed competitors
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, who reported revenue of $1.4 billion and $1.1 billion respectively, according to calculations from Staite of Altantic Equities.
The analyst, however, noted the 10% decline in Goldman's trading revenue was slightly worse than 5% declines posted by JPMorgan and Citigroup.
Bank of America
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reports earnings on Wednesday.
Net revenue from the firm's Institutional Client Services unit, more generally known as trading, came in at $5.14 billion, dropping 10% from the first quarter of 2012.
Goldman's investment management unit posted $1.32 billion in revenue, reflecting a 12% rise from the first quarter of 2012. The unit posted $9 billion in client asset outflows, largely on money market assets and alternative investments, even as the firm saw a rise in equity and fixed income assets.
"Better than expected investment banking and investment management revenues roughly offset the revenue miss in trading," Brennan Hawken, a UBS analyst, wrote in a note to clients.
In the first quarter, Goldman Sachs repurchased 10.1 million shares at a total cost of $1.52 billion. The firm also said its Board of Directors authorized the firm to buy back an additional 75 million shares, putting its total authorization at 86.4 million shares or roughly 18.5% of shares outstanding.
Operating expenses of $6.72 billion were unchanged from the first quarter of 2012, as the ratio of compensation and benefits to revenue fell marginally from year-ago levels to 43%.
In a proxy to shareholders released on Friday, Goldman
that chief executive Lloyd Blankfein earned a total of $21 million for 2013, split between a salary of $2 million, a $5.7 million cash bonus and $13.3 million in restricted stock awards.
Equity compensation as a percentage of variable compensation was 70% for Blankfein, COO Gary Cohn, CFO David Viniar, Vice Chairman J. Michael Evans and Vice Chairman John Weinberg, who earned between $17 million and $19 million in total compensation for 2012.
"We are pleased with our performance for the quarter," Lloyd C. Blankfein, Goldman Sachs chief executive, said in a statement Tuesday.
"Our strong client franchise across our businesses drove generally solid results. Still, the potential for macro-economic instability was felt in the quarter and constrained overall corporate and investor activity."
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-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York