Goldman Sachs Group Inc posted a wider-than-expected loss of $428 million for the third quarter, only its second quarterly loss as a public company, hurt by sharp declines in the value of investment securities and customer trading assets.
Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein cited difficult market conditions and a lack of confidence among investors and corporate clients for the poor results.
"Our results were significantly impacted by the environment and we were disappointed to record a loss in the quarter," Blankfein said.
Shares of the largest US investment bank by assets were down 2 per cent in premarket trading.
Goldman's loss-driver was its Investing & Lending division, which holds stocks, bonds, loans and private equity assets as long-term investments.
The division reported negative revenue of $2.48 billion as the value of those assets dropped sharply. Goldman's stock investment in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd alone generated more than $1 billion of paper losses.
Goldman was also hurt by big declines in bond trading and investment banking revenue.
Its fixed income, currency and commodities client trading business reported $1.73 billion in revenue, a 36 per cent decline from a year earlier. Investment banking revenue dropped 33 per cent to $781 million.
Overall, Goldman's net revenue totalled $3.6 billion, down 60 per cent from a year earlier and down 51 per cent from the 2011 second quarter.
Its third-quarter loss amounted to 84 cents per share, compared with a profit of $2.98 per share a year earlier. On average, analysts had expected a loss of 16 cents per share.