Goldman Reports Better Than Expected Earnings, Average Per Employee Comp Of $591,299; Plunging Equity VaR

Tyler Durden's picture

Goldman has released earnings which appear to be substantially better than Street forecasts of $0.81 in EPS and $10.21 billion in revenue. The firm reported earnings of $1.56 (though this is still a sizable drom from the $5.59 a year earlier. Revenues came at $11.894 billion beating expectations but less than the $12.775 billion a year prior. The GS EPS was impacted by $1.64 billion in Berkshire dividend related charges, absent which EPS would have been $4.38. Goldman reported $5.233 billion in operating expenses, on total staff of 35,400 (a drop of 300 from last quarter). Annualizing the firm's Compensation and benefits line of $5,233 implies Goldman is runrating to pay its employees an average of $591,299/employee. Lastly, and perhaps just as importantly, the bank notes it lowered its total VaR from 120 to 113 sequentially (and down from 161 a year prior). Equity VaR in particular was curious as it plunged by nearly half from a year earlier: from 88 to 49. Oddly, as most other banks are relevering their risk taking activities, Goldman is actively curbing them.

Earnings highlights:

  • The firm ranked first in worldwide equity and equity-related offerings, common stock offerings and initial public offerings for the year-to-date. (3)
  • Institutional Client Services generated net revenues of $6.65 billion, including Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Client Execution net revenues of $4.33 billion, which reflected improved client activity levels.
  • During the quarter, the firm gave notice of redemption for the firm’s Series G Preferred Stock held by Berkshire Hathaway. Despite the impact of the preferred dividend of $1.64 billion related to the redemption, both book value per common share and tangible book value per common share (4) increased slightly during the quarter. Excluding the impact of this preferred dividend, both book value per common share and tangible book value per common share increased approximately 3%(4) during the quarter.

Looking at the key Institutional Client Services and Investment Banking sectors in particular:

Net revenues in Institutional Client Services were $6.65 billion, 22% lower than a strong first quarter of 2010 and 83% higher than the fourth quarter of 2010.

Net revenues in Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Client Execution were $4.33 billion, 28% lower than a particularly strong first quarter of 2010. Client activity levels improved during the first quarter of 2011, resulting in solid performances in credit products, interest rate products, currencies and mortgages, although net revenues in each were lower compared with the first quarter of 2010. Net revenues in commodities were also solid and were higher compared with the same prior year period.

Net revenues in Equities were $2.32 billion, 7% lower than the first quarter of 2010, reflecting lower net revenues in equities client execution. The decline in equities client execution compared with the first quarter of 2010 reflected lower net revenues in derivatives and shares. This decrease was partially offset by higher commissions and fees, reflecting higher transaction volumes. Securities services net revenues were essentially unchanged compared with the first quarter of 2010. During the first quarter of 2011, Equities operated in an environment generally characterized by an increase in global equity prices and slightly lower average volatility levels.

Net revenues in Investment Banking were $1.27 billion, 5% higher than the first quarter of 2010 and 16% lower than the fourth quarter of 2010. Net revenues in Financial Advisory were $357 million, 23% lower than the first quarter of 2010. Net revenues in the firm’s Underwriting business were $912 million, 23% higher than the first quarter of 2010, due to strong net revenues in debt underwriting, which were significantly higher compared with the first quarter of 2010, as well as higher net revenues in equity underwriting. The increase in both debt and equity underwriting primarily reflected an increase in client activity. The firm’s investment banking transaction backlog increased compared with the end of 2010.

And a snapshot of the firm's VaR:

Full report:


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Dolemite's picture


chubbar's picture

OT, but here is a computer programmer who is testifying in a U.S. court of law that he designed a program that would FIX U.S. elections when using computer voting machines. He names the official who asked him to develop it as well. Gee, what a surprise! (sarc)

Of course this will get NO msm coverage or investigation by the FBI.

digitlman's picture

Have these people no shame?

Hephasteus's picture

They're paid in dollars which they've completely wrecked and destroyed. So it's not like it's a real paycheck any more.

Careless Whisper's picture

They should be paid in Timberwolf 1 securities. AAA-okay you know. I heard it was a really sweeeet deal.

topcallingtroll's picture

Goldman's VaR is telling you what they expect in the near term.

Looks like Goldman follows the topcallingtroll.

EscapeKey's picture

Well, either that, or they've found a new way of calculating VaR.

malek's picture

Nassim will be delighted.

X. Kurt OSis's picture

Proof of spending too much time on ZH is when someone mentions Goldman Sachs, your nine year old says, 'you mean the sheep-eating, vampire squid?'

topcallingtroll's picture

I got bored with my small harem and now divide my time with them and my one true love.  Zero hedge.

Man does not live by pussy alone.  Gotta get the ZH fix every day.

Sudden Debt's picture

That's proof you don't spend enough time checking out facts about the postings.

And it shows you still have time to talk to your kids :)



X. Kurt OSis's picture

I fact check everything I read. It's easy nowadays: PPGNDA BBG GO

jkruffin's picture

Fatten those preferred shareholder's pockets.

How long is your earnings title release?  LOL

It's like watch a beggar asking you not to give him food and make him work for it.

Sudden Debt's picture

Taxdollars well spend...





Sudden Debt's picture

What keeps amazing me is that every tip they offer has gone bad...

but they make a profit never the less...

Their own traders must be on a different memo system...



augie's picture

they put cover sheets on their TPS reports so they know which data to trade on.

Sudden Debt's picture

and a butler boy in the white house that only costs them 1 billion for 4 years to let them have a piece of 1.5 trillion dollars in future tax donations...


EscapeKey's picture

They double up on their hedges.

augie's picture

Listen, if i had my tenticles mastering the white house, the SEC and the treasury department I better be making more than double my estimated eps. The squid's got five cephalopods to feed, and that damn leviathan JPM is always scaring away dinner.


where is Ned Land when you need em'

UnRealized Reality's picture

Annualizing the firm's Compensation and benefits line of $5,233 implies Goldman is runrating to pay its employees an average of $591,299/employee.

Is this every employee, even secretaries?

Sudden Debt's picture

the secretaries make 30K a year but earn extra for the hourly blowjobs.


knukles's picture

I was just thinkin'.....

UnRealized Reality's picture

I didn't realize it was so funny until your post. But I was actually being serious, does it include all the lower level employees but at a lower amount(say 10,000)?

Sudden Debt's picture

Lower level FTE's are catalogued in the second tab of the excell.


TruthInSunshine's picture

They had to let 300 people go because Bernanke, Paulson and Geithner would only force taxpayers via the AIG bailout (180 billion) to pay Goldman Sachs 14 billion (or about 110 cents on the dollar) from its counterparty CDS bets with AIG.

Never mind that in a free market, AIG would have been unable to pay Goldman Sachs anything of that 14 billion.

Taxpayers should have been forced to pay Goldman more on its AIG exposure, to save those 300 (out of 35,000) jobs.

I am relieved that Hank Paulson, former CEO of Goldman, and having close to 400 million in stock options vested in Goldman, drove the dynamics of the negotiations to handle the AIG situation as it related to Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs & JP Morgan.

mspgrandi's picture

Paulson does not own any GS stock... he sold his share (worth $500mm when he become Treasurer)...


ok you can still make the point that:


wow how did amass so much shares in just 6 yrs CEO of Goldman


wow because it joined the government he wasnt required to pay any capital gain tax (whic is a tax avoidance of roughly 200mm

unununium's picture

Hank Paulson's criminal signature is on the money in your wallet.

knukles's picture

And remember grasshopper, this is reported earnings. 

knukles's picture

Come to think of it, they should just buy Glencore, fuck with the goodwill and have massive non-cash write-offs for future years.  Goose that compensation line.

TomGa's picture

This is all nice and everything, but other than transfering wealth from under one shell to under another, what did Goldman actually PRODUCE?

TruthInSunshine's picture

Blasphemy you speak!

They helped to produce the financial crisis, which caused or competent and honest central bank and government to obligate taxpayers for between 12 and 20 trillion in bailouts and debt obligations (current and future).

mspgrandi's picture

Once again an amazing performance from GS.

Sorry doomers

In addition The omaha Sage is making a killing wih GS stocks.. did he get in at around $100 and also benefit from preferential dividends????

TruthInSunshine's picture

You are right, Comrade (7 week member who has three posts total, two related to Goldman Sachs). Bailouts for all, no matter how incompetent and/or criminal.

By the way, you have a little Blankfein juice on your chin.

Commander Cody's picture

Not amazing considering taxpayer support, Fed largess, insider information and double-dealing their clients.

Oh, and Uncle Warren, same thing.

tom a taxpayer's picture


Yes, not amazing with a license to break the laws, with Holder and the 50 State AGs bereft of testicular fortitude, with Goldman Sachs moles rotating in and out of the federal government, with a MSM with its head buried in the Jersey Shore sand, with Congress, Executive Branch and Federal Reserve aiding, abetting, and financing their robbery of the taxpayers, pension funds, and anyone with two dimes to rub together. The Mafia only dreams it could operate a rigged system like the Too Big To Jail Goldman Sachs.


Rikki-Tikki-Tavi's picture

There is a big difference between critical thinking and being a doomer. "Amazing performance"? GS most have significantly outperformed S&P500 then? How does things look like in gold terms?

writingsonthewall's picture

Fuck Goldman - are they just trying to wind me up? They're doing fuck all for the money except manipulate the markets. Their 'oil prediction' has really got to me - it's almost like they knew what was coming - that's not good fortune or good investment - that's FRAUD. They knew what S&P were going to do, they knew they could stop the oil price rise through chitter chatter through the MSM lackies, I mean the criminals that are so blatant now they're laughing at us. Look at the parasite....just look at him...


There's a bullet in America with his name on it - surely....

Tyler, can we stop the squid stories - I'm starting to pop my blood vessel at the thought of these parasites sucking more wealth out of the system...just before they turn around and demand a bailout in the next 6 months and then act all surprised - like the squid sucking parasitical jelly tentacled butt juice sucking nematoads they are.

Seriously though - fuck Goldman. I hope Blankenfiend reads this - fuck you baldy, and all your sycophants - fuck you too mini me's.


I'd actually rather not know what they're doing - between Blankefiend and Demon from JPM I'm undecided as to which one I would like to force through the bacon grinder first - the smug little shits.

I deplore torture - but I would condone it on these two as an exception - not that they have any useful information - but it might make the world feel a little better.

At least blue collar criminals lie low after their crimes - these bankers are dangling it in our faces.

Seasmoke's picture

this sounds like a great bank, i would like to deposit my money there, does anyone know where i can find a GS bank branch ???

Strategery's picture

Bankers. Nuff said.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

here we see why buffet is muttering about taking these crimes private:  they smell like ass. 

Cdad's picture

Dear B. Quick, did it again.  You pumped the press release for the earnings report of a financial services company, this time Goldman.  In today's desperate "pump up the stock" comments, you said of Goldman's earnings that it was, "a financial tide that is lifting all boats."

You might want to check back on the price action...and consider your credibility the next time you feel an urge to try to get folk excited about an earnings report generate by the criminal syndicate known as Wall Street.

Just some advice as most of us well know that these reports are entirely fraudulent.