If the subprime mortgage meltdown is going to trip up the white-shoe firms on Wall Street, there's no sign of it in
The New York-based investment bank sailed past the Street's expectations Tuesday morning, ringing up earnings of $3.2 billion, or $6.67 a share, for the quarter ended Feb. 23.
Bank analyst Michael Mayo at Newark, N.J.-based Prudential Equity Group says the results show that "subprime issues did not hurt Goldman, especially since they have never bought a mortgage originator." In that regard, Goldman stands in stark contrast to many of its peers.
, for instance, acquired mortgage origination firm Saxon Capital in August.
Another New York-based banking analyst who declines to be identified says that Goldman, like many investment banking shops, has a diversified business that was able to offset any losses the company may have incurred in its subprime business.
"I think the message here is that
Goldman has a very diversified fixed income business," the New York analyst says. A Goldman spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment.
Investors have been keeping an eye on the subprime meltdown because selling mortgage-backed securities has been a lucrative business on Wall Street. Shares in lenders such as
( NFI) and
( LEND) have plunged as defaults and delinquencies rise among homebuyers with weak credit histories.
Overall, Goldman said first-quarter revenue surged to $12.73 billion from $9.41 billion last year. Net revenue in trading and principal investments totaled $9.42 billion, 35% higher than the first quarter of 2006 and 42% above the fourth quarter.
Revenue from trading and principal investments -- the largest contributor to Goldman's businesses -- jumped 35% from the first quarter of 2006 and 42% from the fourth quarter to $9.42 billion.
That said, much of the
sturm und drang
in the subprime occurred after the close of the quarter. That means the bank might not realize the full impact of subprime until next quarter, Mayo's report says.
So it seems that the subprime schadenfreude will have to wait another quarter -- or at least until tomorrow and Thursday, when
( LEH) and
( BSC) report their earnings.