Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the U.S. bank that makes more than half its revenue from trading, lost money in that business on one day during the first quarter, its best record since posting zero days of losses a year ago.
After losing money on 13 days in the fourth quarter, Goldman Sachs’s traders lost between $25 million and $50 million on one occasion in the first quarter, according to the New York- based firm’s quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. They generated more than $100 million on 32 days out of 62 total days, the filing showed.
Goldman Sachs’s performance beats Morgan Stanley, whose traders lost money on three days and made more than $100 million on 10 days, according to a filing yesterday. It falls short of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., which both reported zero days of losses in the quarter.
Goldman Sachs, the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, said last month that revenue from securities trading fell 22 percent from a year earlier to $6.65 billion, although it climbed 83 percent from the fourth quarter. Last year, President and Chief Operating Officer Gary D. Cohn said infrequent daily trading losses are evidence that the firm doesn’t rely on making bets with its own money.
Goldman Sachs reported zero days of trading losses during the first quarter of last year, the first such perfect quarter in the firm’s history. It reported 10 such days in the second quarter and two for the third quarter.
During 2010, Bank of America, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, had perfect quarters in the first and third quarters, while JPMorgan, the second-biggest, had three perfect quarters.
JPMorgan’s figures may not be directly comparable with other banks’ because they also include market risk besides trading, such as principal transactions in its chief investment office and some mortgage fees and hedges.
Goldman Sachs said its trading risks didn’t exceed the firm’s value-at-risk limit, a measure of how much the company could lose in the securities markets in one day, during the quarter. Average value-at-risk was $113 million in the quarter.
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