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Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS): The Bank Seeks to Start Growing Again

Next Tuesday, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they’ll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you’ll be less likely to make an uninformed kneejerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS)

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) has recovered strongly from the worst of the financial crisis more than four years ago, but it hasn’t managed to overcome all of the obstacles in its path. With the threat of heightened regulation, the company’s earnings haven’t grown as quickly as investors would like. Let’s take an early look at what’s been happening with Goldman Sachs over the past quarter and what we’re likely to see in its quarterly report.

Stats on Goldman Sachs

Analyst EPS Estimate $3.84
Change From Year-Ago EPS (2%)
Revenue Estimate $9.60 billion
Change From Year-Ago Revenue (3.5%)
Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters 4

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will Goldman Sachs crush estimates again this quarter?
Analysts have gotten a lot more excited about Goldman’s prospects over the past few months, as they’ve raised their estimates for the just-ended quarter by more than 10%, or $0.36 per share. Moreover, analysts have been even more optimistic about Goldman’s prospects for the rest of 2013, as their consensus earnings estimate has soared by more than $1 per share. That enthusiasm has translated into gains for Goldman’s stock, which has risen more than 11% since early January.

Arguably, Goldman’s big news for the quarter came from the stress tests. The company boosted its tier 1 common ratio by a full percentage point over the past year, yet while Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) passed the tests, that extra capital didn’t translate into any stronger of a cushion for its “stressed minimum” capital ratio result. Indeed, both it and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) posted the lowest passing scores on that metric, showing the difficulty that investment-oriented banks have in satisfying the Fed about their stability.

Moreover, the Fed wasn’t satisfied with Goldman’s proposed capital plan, asking the bank to resubmit its plan to take other factors into account. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) faced a similar restriction, although it plans to move ahead with its decision to boost its dividend by 27% and make a $6 billion stock buyback. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) hasn’t disclosed its capital intentions at this point, but with a dividend yield of just 1.3%, shareholders certainly hope that a boost to its payout will come in the near future.

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