Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) handily beat second-quarter earnings and revenue when it reported numbers today (Tuesday) before market open - but that's not too hard to do since expectations had slipped drastically over the past couple months.
The investment banking giant's earnings per share came in at $1.78, blowing away analysts' estimates of $1.18. Revenue came in at $6.63 billion, better than the expected $6.28 billion.
A couple months ago these numbers would have actually disappointed.
In the last two months, expectations for the quarter had dwindled. The average earnings per share forecasts dropped to the current $1.18 per share from $2.16 in June and $2.87 in May. Looking back to the same quarter a year ago, earnings were $1.85 per share and revenue was $7.28 billion (8.9% better than the current quarter's revenue).
"During the second quarter, market conditions deteriorated and activity levels for both corporate and investing clients were lower given continued instability in Europe and concerns about global growth," Goldman Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein said in a statement.
The weak economic environment will keep weighing on Goldman through the year.