Still sitting pretty above the subprime fray, Goldman Sachs trumped estimates today and reported a 2% jump in profits in the fourth quarter, breaking the annual profit record for the fourth straight year. Goldman shorted subprime mortgages, profiting from the disaster that sank competitors, and in the quarter actually boosted its revenue from mortgage securities, Bloomberg reports.
"Goldman took that weakness and turned it to its own advantage,'' one analyst said. Revenue rose 14% to $10.7 billion, and return on investment was a lofty 34.6%. Much of that came from buying and selling companies, a profitable departure from Goldman’s usual adviser role. The results “hardly seem ‘one time’ in nature,” an analyst predicted. And Goldman’s equity trading really beat the market, with revenues climbing 22%.