This contrasted with Goldman's rivals, which have reported booming trading revenues in the last week, especially in fixed income. The average estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for adjusted earnings of $5.34 a share.
The company said profit rose to $5.15 per share from $2.68 a year earlier, but still missing analyst forecasts of $5.15 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Goldman managed to overcome a surprise drop in revenue in its trading business.
Income from share dealing fell and fees from bond, currency and commodity trading were relatively flat. The poor results caused the bank's stock to fall sharply.
"The operating environment was mixed, with client activity challenged in certain market-making businesses and a more attractive backdrop for underwriting in our investment banking franchise", said Lloyd C. Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer. Given that its peers found universal success in trading during the first quarter, Wall Street wasn't happy to take that answer at face value, perhaps believing that the decline in trading income may be more than just a one-time occurrence. The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reports earnings Tuesday, April 18, 2017.
Goldman's investment banking business grew profits in the quarter, but its growth was not all the different from its competition. Bank of America said its net interest income rose 5 percent from the same quarter previous year. Its closely watched compensation-to-revenue ratio was 41 percent in the first quarter, down from 42 percent a year earlier, but higher than the 38 percent ratio it reported for all of 2016.
The bank also made $1.46 billion in its investing and lending business in the quarter, a sharp increase from the $87 million it made in the same period a year earlier.
Goldman Sachs reported first-quarter earnings Tuesday that missed on both the top and bottom line as trading revenue disappointed. Shares of the company slid 3.5 percent to $218.25 at 9:32 a.m.in NY, the worst performance in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Goldman Sachs's share price surged 32 percent from the USA presidential election through the end of previous year on optimism Trump would usher in pro-growth economic policies, and as firm alumni including former President Gary Cohn took up key positions in the administration. Goldman's shares tumbled 4.2 percent to $216.80.