EXPECTATIONS EXCEEDED: Goldman's earnings easily beat the $3.49 a share that analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted. First-quarter revenue also beat analysts' expectations of $8.7 billion.
BOND TRADING SLUMP: Revenue from the bank's bond trading business fell 11 percent to $2.85 billion. Goldman, like other big Wall Street banks including JPMorgan and Citigroup, has seen bonding trading slump in the first quarter. The business is "operating in a challenging environment and levels of activity generally remained low," Goldman said in its earnings release.
THE BRIGHT SPOT: Revenue at Goldman's investment banking unit rose, driven partly by higher client activity in its financial advisory business in Europe and more stock underwriting. The bank's investment banking revenue rose 13 percent to $1.78 billion in the first quarter.
COMPENSATION EXPENSE: Compensation expense, the banks biggest single cost, was $4.01 billion, down 8 percent from $4.34 billion a year earlier.
STOCK REACTION: Goldman's stock rose $2.31, or 1.4 percent, to $159.53 in early trading.