US bank Goldman Sachs on Tuesday posted a loss for the third quarter amid global market turmoil, only the second loss since the Wall Street investment giant went public more than a decade ago.
The net loss totaled $393 million, down from $1.9 billion profit in the July-September period in 2010, the New York-based bank said in a statement.
For shareholders, the net loss was $428 million, compared with $1.74 billion profit in the year-ago period. The loss per share was 84 cents, far steeper than the 15 cent loss forecast by analysts.
Goldman reported total net revenues of $3.59 billion, down 60 percent from a year ago and 51 percent from the second quarter. That widely missed revenue expectations of $4.59 billion.
"CEO and investor confidence as well as asset prices across markets were lower in the third quarter given the uncertain macroeconomic and market conditions," Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman's chairman and chief executive, said in the statement.
"Our results were significantly impacted by the environment and we were disappointed to record a loss in the quarter," he added.
The leading Wall Street firm had just one other losing quarter since it went public in 1999, $2.12 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, during that year's financial meltdown.
The bank said the year-over-year revenue decline reflected "significantly lower" results in credit products, mortgages and, to a lesser extent, currencies.
Goldman's investment and lending division, in which the bank acts on its own account, registered a net loss of $2.48 billion for the third quarter of 2011, as the bank took hefty writedowns.
"These results reflected a significant decline in global equity markets and unfavorable credit markets," the bank said.
The third-quarter results included a loss of $1.05 billion from the company's investment in the ordinary shares of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited.
Revenues from investment banking dropped 33 percent in the third quarter from a year ago, to $781 million, the bank reported.
Net revenues in the firm's underwriting business were $258 million, 61 percent lower than the third quarter of 2010.
"Net revenues in both equity underwriting and debt underwriting were significantly lower than the third quarter of 2010, reflecting a significant decline in industry-wide activity," the bank said.
Goldman cut spending by 29 percent, to $4.32 billion, including a 59 percent reduction in employee compensation and benefits.