Goldman Sachs today beat analysts' dire predictions even though it reported a 53% drop in first-quarter profits—the worst falloff since 1999—after a $2.1 billion writeoff, reports Bloomberg. Analysts had expected the Wall Street brokerage to see profits drop more than 60%. Goldman said net income was $1.51 billion, down from $3.2 billion a year earlier.
Per-share earnings were $3.23, compared to $6.67 in the first quarter last year, as net revenue dropped 35% to $8.34 billion from $12.73 billion, Goldman said. Although the company has seen its stock price slip 30% this year as investor confidence in the financial industry has waned, Goldman has had minimal exposure to the subprime crisis.