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Goldman Sachs Beats Low Bar in First Quarter

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Goldman Sachs  (GS - Get Report) beat analysts' earnings estimates on its top and bottom line even as sluggish trading activity dragged on profitability. The bank recorded an 11% drop in first-quarter profit, symptomatic of declines in both institutional client volume and fixed-income revenue.

Over the three months to March, net income tumbled to $1.95 billion, or $4.02 a share, from $2.19 billion, or $4.29 a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue in its institutional client services segment fell 13% to $4.45 billion while fixed-income revenue dropped 11% to $2.85 billion.

The results were as-expected given constrained activity in the segment among other banks. In their respective first quarters, Citibank (C - Get Report) and JPMorgan (JPM - Get Report) each reported a decline in fixed-income revenue.

Segments which account for less revenue in the business reported gains. Investment banking, 19.1% of total revenue, climbed 13% year over year to $1.78 billion, while financial advisory services, 7.3% of gross, soared 41% to $682 million.

"Investment Banking and Investment Management generated solid results, while market sentiment shifted throughout the quarter, constraining client activity in various parts of our franchise," CEO Lloyd Blankfein said in a statement.

Total net revenue slid 8% to $9.33 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecast net income of $3.45 a share on revenue of $8.7 billion.

-- Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.

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